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README.md

Decoding Trump/Biden 2020

This is the source to decoder.whotargets.me.

Purpose

This project decodes the ad code values that the Trump presidential campaign Facebook adverts use in order to provide a picture of the motivations and the running of the Trump online ad campaign.

The Trump campaign has 23 ad codes, utm0 through to utm22.

The Biden campaign has 14 ad codes, utm0 through to utm13.

How to contribute

You can contribute your own decodings – either new ones or edits to existing values – of any ad code value you like. Their source is in markdown form with some metadata at the start, and can be found at

Editing a file

For example, for the Trump utm3 (Page) value bv4t, we determined that it meant "Black Voices for Trump". The markdown for our definition looks like this:

---
value: bv4t
name: Black Voices For Trump
confidence: high
published: 2020-09-01
---

## Why do we think that?

All of the ads come from the
[Black Voices For Trump Facebook page](https://www.facebook.com/BlackVoicesForTrump20)

You can edit this markdown directly here on GitHub and propose your own changes. You can see how that ends up displaying on the site:

Proposing a new file

Let's say you decoded one of Trump's audiences at utm7 – perhaps by looking at the ads shown to audience0235.

You'd add a markdown file called audience0235.md to the doc/ad_code_values/trump/7 folder to get a file called doc/ad_code_values/trump/7/audience0235.md. It might look something like this:

---
value: audience0235
name: Working mothers
confidence: low
published: 2020-09-01
---

## Why do we think that?

All of the ads shown to this audience appear to reference topics of concern to working mothers.

Please feel free to get in touch on Twitter via either @whotargetsme or @rgarner for any extra help or advice you might need.

Credits

– Tags for "decode an ad" persuasion identification – Illuminating project, Syracuse

Contributors to ad code values

With many thanks:

Aidan T. Hughes, Kings College London

About

Political FB ads for the US election campaign 2020

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