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Political Advertisements from Facebook

This database, updated daily, contains ads that ran on Facebook and were submitted by thousands of ProPublica users from around the world. We asked our readers to install browser extensions that automatically collected advertisements on their Facebook pages and sent them to our servers. We then used a machine learning classifier to identify which ads were likely political and included them in this dataset. The included fields are:

  • id: post id number on facebook
  • html: HTML of the ad as collected by the Political Ad Collector
  • political: number of Political Ad Collector users who have voted that the ad is political
  • not_political: number of Political Ad Collector users who have voted that the ad is not political
  • title: ad title
  • message: ad content
  • thumbnail: link for a thumbnail of the profile image (of the advertiser)
  • created_at: date ad was first collected by the Political Ad Collector
  • updated_at: the most recent time that it got an impression OR the most recent time it was voted on
  • lang: language of the ad. always en-US.
  • images: link for images included in the ad
  • impressions: number of times the ad has been seen by the Political Ad Collector
  • political_probability: calculated by the classifier. data only includes ads with a probability >=0.7
  • targeting: Facebook’s “Why am I seeing this?” disclosure provided to Political Ad Collector users
  • suppressed: value is false. suppressed ads are excluded from this data set because they were misclassified.
  • targets: a parsed version of targeting
  • advertiser: the account that posted the ad
  • entities: named entities mentioned in the ad, extracted using software
  • page: the page that posted the ad 
  • lower_page: the Facebook URL of the advertiser that posted the ad (the “page” column, lowercased)
  • targetings: an array of one or more of Facebook’s “Why am I seeing this?” disclosures provided to Political Ad Collector users 
  • paid_for_by: for political ads, the entity listed in Facebook’s required disclosure as having paid for the ad 
  • targetedness: an internal metric for estimating how granularly an ad is targeted, used for sorting in the ProPublica search interface
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Part of these collections:

Facebook, Political Advertising, Advertising, and Crowdsourced Datasets

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