The Facebook Presidential Voting Sentiment Index

As the 2016 Election season heats up, consumers of Everydata will be bombarded with daily, weekly, monthly and sometimes even minute-by-minute polling data.  

One poll you might hear about is the Facebook sentiment index, provided by BuzzFeed. Data for the sentiment index will be derived from people's views on candidates based on what they write on Facebook. This is an interesting idea, but selection issues with this type of approach could be significant:

  • Are the individuals posting about politics the most passionate of supporters?  Do they post the most frequently?
  • Does the universe of Facebook users overlap with primary goers, registered voters, or people who will vote at all?
  • How are the written comments from users translated into the sentiment index?  

It will be interesting to watch this index as the election draws closer, and see how accurate it is.