To run ads on Facebook, advertisers must connect their ads to a particular Facebook page that they administer. However, Facebook does not limit advertisers to running ads from a single Facebook page. For example, the Trump campaign has been running ads from over 20 different Facebook pages so far this year. Several of these pages are targeted at specific demographics. This is a deep dive of the month-by-month breakdown of how Donald Trump has utilized demographic-specific Facebook pages to run ads.
This report summarizes the challenges and concerns that the Illuminating project’s team encountered when using Facebook’s Ad Library to conduct research on the 2020 U.S. presidential election. We provide examples of each problem and explain why hindering the transparency of the online campaigning ecosystem poses a threat to campaign advertising research by academics and journalists. Our report concludes with recommendations that would help make Facebook’s Ad Library more accessible and transparent to journalists, researchers, and the general public.
The campaigns of Donald Trump and Joe Biden together spent US $65.8 million on social media advertising between June 1 and Sept. 13. With these ads, which amount to about 30% of both campaigns’ spending, the candidates are trying to mobilize voters – find supporters and then spark them to get involved.
By Brian McKernan On September 16 and 17, the Trump campaign started running ads from twelve state-specific pages, such as “Trump For Florida” and “Trump for Wisconsin.” These Facebook pages provide insight into what the Trump campaign considers their must-win
An analysis of how Joe Biden’s campaign uses smaller ad buys to target specific subsets of people.