This one-hour webinar is for journalists covering political spending on Facebook during the 2020 campaign. The Ad Observatory is a new digital tool created by cybersecurity engineers at New York University that allows journalists to view political spending on Facebook aggregated for their local areas and campaigns. The tool compiles spending by candidates, campaigns, political action committees and dark money groups. It also provides information on ad topics, objectives and targeting information not available via the Facebook Ad Library. This training will offer an introduction to the Ad Observatory followed by a deep dive into how the tool can be used to spot trends and connections in the 2020 elections.
Broadcast date: Sept. 16, 2020 at 2 p.m. Eastern
Course learning outcomes
By the end of this course, you will be able to:
- Generate story ideas to pursue on local Facebook political ads.
- Explain in simple language why audiences should care how they are targeted on Facebook.
- Investigate connections between Facebook advertisers and other types of political spending.
- Identify where to find resources when they run into problems when reporting on Facebook political ads.
Who should take this course?
Journalists who work in any medium — print, digital, broadcast or multimedia — covering the 2020 elections and campaign spending. When you’re done with the training, you will have a working understanding of a new tool to find Facebook political advertising, and you will have a renewed understanding of campaign spending basics.
Editor in chief
New York University’s Online Political Transparency Project
George Washington University’s Institute of Data, Democracy, and Politics