NEWS11 July 2012

Facebook and CNN to track pre-election buzz

Government North America

US— Facebook and CNN are collaborating on a series of research studies and social media analyses to track people’s attitudes to the US presidential election.

The partners will measure buzz and sentiment around Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, the presidential candidates, and their running mates.

As the campaigns progress, Facebook will report the aggregate amount of discussion about each candidate and CNN will drill down into the data to produce specific state-by-state analyses. These will include metrics from a bespoke “I’m voting” app, which will enable people who use Facebook to “commit” to voting and endorsing specific candidates and issues. “Commitments” to vote will be displayed on Facebook timelines, news feeds, and real-time tickers.

The two companies will also survey users of voting age during the Democratic and Republican National Conventions, the Presidential Debates, Election Day and other significant dates. CNN’s editorial department will work with Facebook’s research team to write the questions and publish the results on CNN,, and on the US Politics on Facebook page, Facebook’s hub for campaign information.

KC Estenson, senior vice president of CNN Digital, said: “By harnessing the power of the Facebook platform and coupling it with the best of our journalism, we will redefine how people engage in the democratic process and advance the way a news organisation covers a national election.”