CS 488 – Week 2 – Updates

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My project is to collect and study the Facebook Reactions and comments on posts by U.S. politicians to see if bias exists based on the gender of the politician. I have decided with Charlie’s advice to focus my project on the 2020 Senate races. The 2020 Presidential election doesn’t have enough candidates to be a good sample size. The 2020 House races would likely have a wide variety of candidate strategies based on the district, many districts with no competition, and less voters per race. By contrast, the Senate races have enough candidates to be a good sample size, while also having more voters per race, meaning there should be more Facebook Pages with enough user activity to be used in my dataset.

This week I found sources for the Senate races, created a spreadsheet for candidates, and decided on which relevant columns should be in the spreadsheet. I am filling out the sheet first for races where the filing deadline has passed for the primary first. Next, I plan to learn how to access the Facebook API using the Facebook SDK Python library, and to collect sample data for candidates I have already added to the spreadsheet.

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