Illuminating is a computational journalism project that empowers journalists covering US political campaigns. The Illuminating data helps journalists see patterns and changes in how candidates address communicate to voters over time. If candidates are spending millions of dollars to micro-target voters on digital media, then someone needs to improve transparency and hold them accountable, explains Dr. Jennifer Stromer-Galley, Principal Investigator of the project.
Learn about Dr. Stromer-Galley’s recent presentation, where she discussed campaign advertising practices on Facebook during the 2020 presidential election and surfaced patterns in Trump’s Facebook messaging on mail-in and absentee ballots.
Former Vice President Joe Biden and President Donald Trump spent a historic $217 million advertising on the Facebook and Instagram social media platforms during the 2020 general election. This report provides analyses by the Illuminating 2020 project for how both campaigns used Facebook and Instagram advertising in the general election campaign, including targeting and messaging.
Ohio has been considered one of the most significant swing states for decades, but for the first time since 1960 the winner did not win the state of Ohio. In this post, we take a look at how the candidates used Facebook and Instagram ads to appeal to voters in Ohio.
This post features a working paper that the Illuminating team presented at the 2020 SBP-BRiMS Conference. We describe and compare two computational techniques that we have used to classify Facebook and Twitter posts by message type.
As a swing state with 6 electoral votes, Nevada was integral on the path to winning the 2020 election. Here we take a deep dive into how the official Biden and Trump campaign pages targeted voters within the Silver State.
Prior to the election, many analysts predicted that Arizona would be a tight race and a key battleground state for both campaign’s path to victory. Donald Trump ran ads in Arizona from several different Facebook pages. Using data collected by Illuminating, trends about the demographics Trump targeted can be examined, comparing state-specific strategy to what Trump did overall.
Earlier in the summer, Donald Trump consistently had a lower spend per 1000 views than Joe Biden. However, in many of the final weeks before the election, it was Joe Biden’s ads that had a lower spend per view.