Joe Biden and Donald Trump have heavily focused spending in Pennsylvania, a critical battleground state in the November election.
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.
An analysis of how Joe Biden’s campaign uses smaller ad buys to target specific subsets of people.