Skip to main content

IREHR in Flux: “Study finds nearly 22 percent of Republican state legislators joined extremist Facebook groups” – May 22, 2022

By May 22, 2022May 4th, 2023No Comments2 min read

IREHR’s report, Breaching the Mainstream, was cited in Flux;

David Neiwert, an investigative journalist, writes, “Using social media as a kind of proxy for their real-world outreach—a reasonable approach, since there are few politicians now who don’t use social media—the Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights decided to get a clearer picture of the reach of extremist influences in official halls of power by examining how many elected officials participate in extremist Facebook groups.”

Neiwert continues, “The study identified 875 state legislators serving in the 2021-2022 legislative period who had joined these extremist Facebook books, only three of whom were Democrats. The remaining Republicans who had joined these groups constituted 21.74% of all Republican lawmakers in the country, and 11.85% of all legislators.”


IREHR’s President, Devin Burghart, was quoted in Flux;

“The ideas of the far right have moved pretty substantially into the mainstream,” Burghart said. “not only as the basis for acts of violence but as the basis for public policy.”

“All of that stuff has been incubated in these networks,’’ Burghart said. “That rhetoric in this context becomes public policy quite quickly and those ideas not only move from the margins to the mainstream but now they’ve been codified into law in some places.”

Read more here

Laura Gibbons

Author Laura Gibbons

Laura Gibbons is an IREHR research associate.

More posts by Laura Gibbons