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Facebook Message Mining

Installing dependencies

Ensure that you have a version of python3 installed. If you don't, navigate to python's homepage. Installing python from here should come with pip, python's package manager, but if you don't have pip installed, visit this page to install it.

Using virtualenv is recommended as well. You can install it with brew install virtualenv on a mac (try brew install pyenv-virtualenv if virtualenv isn't found) or with pip install virtualenv

Additionally, if you would like to use WordCloud features ensure that you have Java installed. You can find installation instructions here.

Step 1:

Clone the project and install dependencies in virtualenv. From a directory where you would like to download the project:

$ git clone
$ cd fb-msg-mining
$ virtualenv -p python3 venv
$ source venv/bin/activate
$ pip3 install -r requirements.txt

Step 2:

Request a copy of your Facebook data:

Go to Facebook and click on Settings -> "Download a copy" link near the middle of the page. You'll need to put in your facebook password in order to request the download, and you should receive a confirmation email from facebook immediately, sent to the email you used when signing up. It can take less than an hour or up to a week to get your archive, and you only have around 24 hours before the link sent to you expires, so check carefully!

Note that at all times your data is only analyzed locally.

Step 3:

When you get an email with the download link, use the link emailed to you by facebook to download a copy of your data within 24 hours

Extract the zip you get and without editing anything, move the html folder inside the project folder. After doing this the html folder should be in the same directory as files and folders such as, and functions. Ensure that the html folder contains a file titled messages.htm

Run python3 and follow prompts

Using the program

Run python3 to get a web browser session, or python3 -i for an interactive python session.

Libraries used

While original aspects of this project are open source under the MIT License, various libraries are utilized that are subject to their own terms and conditions. Licenses can be found in this project, with more information in credit.txt. In particular, the graphing functionality of highcharts is used in this project. Note that HighCharts and its software is not free for commercial and Governmental use. More information can be found at

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