France's right-wing presidential candidates generate most engagement on Facebook
Right-wing French presidential candidates are generating the most Facebook engagement ahead of the country's April vote, research by a media outlet has found.
Right-wing Reconquête party founder Eric Zemmour, the Rassemblement National's Marine Le Pen, Debout la France's Nicolas Dupont-Aignan, The Patriots nationalist party leader Florian Philippot, and Eurosceptic party Popular Republican Union's leader François Asselineau acquired 82.7 percent of interactions and 84.6 percent of Facebook shares, January figures have shown, according to French broadcaster BFMTV.
Zemmour, who is also a journalist, was top of the pile for interactions, gaining 2.3 million, despite his recent entry into politics.
In January, he was handed a €10,000 fine for inciting racial hatred for calling unaccompanied migrant children"thieves", "killers", "rapists" and arguing that "they should be sent back".
Le Pen, who has suggested prohibiting the Islamic hijab in public, came in behind Philippot and Dupont-Aignan on interactions, with 1.6 million. The leftist firebrand Jean-Luc Mélenchon gained a distant 801,990 interactions.
Zemmour was the most prolific post creator on Facebook, with 422 Facebook posts, ahead of Philippot with 375, Le Pen with 254 and Dupont-Aignan with 216.
Zemmour was not so dominant in shares however, with 171,884. This was just above Le Pen at 168,922 but considerably below Dupont-Aignan's 462,472 and Philippot's 351,654. Left-wing Mélenchon sat at 147,468 shares.
Even though Macron's rivals on the right have dominated overall on Facebook, BFMTV discovered the current president achieved more average interactions on his posts, at 9,626 last month.
A shocking video featuring French far-right pundit Eric Zemmour surfaced today on social media, sparking controversy.https://t.co/fwuioWRL3d— The New Arab (@The_NewArab) October 26, 2021
This was the best performance of all the candidates surveyed by the French broadcaster. Macron only posted 36 times in the period surveyed and has far lower overall interactions at 346,523.
BFMTV looked at figures gathered using the social media analytics site CrowdTangle, created by Facebook parent company Meta.