We frequently see CrowdTangle data being used by journalists all over the world. Here's a quick primer on some of the ways we've seen it used in the lead-up to, during and after elections. We hope this helps give you some ideas, and of course please let us know, share, or tweet us @crowdtangle if you do a story! (p.s. here's how to cite correctly.)
#1 Show the volume of engagement on political candidates, parties and/or groups
- Examples: From Euronews, "EU Elections 2019: Which candidates won the social media campaign?" and "Eurosceptics vs. Europhiles: Who Wins the social media battle?" "Who's Winning the Social Media Midterms" by the New York Times, the BFMTV graph below, the Axios and La Nacion graphs below, and the Keshet 12 segment using their own visuals with CrowdTangle data to show growth of candidates.
- How to? Use leaderboards, Intelligence, Live Displays, and historical data.
#2 Analyze what topics are driving the conversation around an election event, a relevant cultural moment, voting, etc.
- Example: "Midterm messaging revolved around the economy — until the Kavanaugh hearing" by Marketwatch
- How to? Use saved search, and then analyze it using historical data.
#3 Analyze the tactics of a social media campaign (or ad strategy). What kind of messaging are campaigns using? What subset of supporters (or detractors) are "loudest" on social media? What are they spending on ads vs. doing organically? Make sure to use the Facebook Ad Library in tandem.
- Examples: CNN's 'The Swarm: How a subset of Sanders supporters use hostile tactics to drown out critics,' ePolitics' Top 20 Presidential Campaign Facebook Posts of 2019, Washington Post's opinion article on Michael Bloomberg's digital organizing on Instagram
#4 How information (or misinformation) about the election or candidates spreads
- Examples: "Inside the Hyperpartisan Fight for your News Feed" by Buzzfeed News, How a Misleading Biden Video Spread by the New York Times
- How to? Most of these articles utilized Intelligence and the Link Checker Chrome Extension.
#5. Fact-checking. There are many, many examples of Facebook's third party fact-checkers using CrowdTangle to cover and track the spread of misinformation, like how a claim originated, and to report on its reach and distribution in a fact-check. See our full set of misinformation resources for more how-tos and examples on this, but here are a couple.
- Examples: How a disinformation site exploited satire to become a popular source of false news on Facebook by Politifact, Pelosi Hasn't Promised to Resign if Trump is Re-elected by Factcheck.org, and False Claim: In 2018 10,150 Americans Were Killed by Illegal Immigrants, While 194 Americans Were Killed in Mass Shootings by Reuters.
#6. Live Data visualizations. News publishers are free to use CrowdTangle's API to power public-facing visualizations. We've seen some great examples from publishers like SVT in Sweden, the BBC in the UK and CBC in Canada.
SVT, Swedish national broadcaster, visualization on what election-related topics were getting the most engagement during the election cycle. (This has since been taken down, but you can see the visual below.)