Facebook and Google: This is What an Effective Ad Archive API Looks Like

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Website/link: https://blog.mozilla.org/en/mozilla/facebook-and-google-this-is-what-an-effective-ad-archive-api-looks-like/

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Published date: March 28, 2019

Subject tag: Advertising | Data Access

Mozilla and a cohort of independent researchers detail the key traits that make for an effective ad archive including fully functional APIs. Functional APIs should have: comprehensive political advertising content.The APIs should include paid political ads and issue-based ads, without limiting access on the basis of pre-selected topics or keywords. “Political” ads might include, but are not limited to: direct electioneering content, candidates or holders of political office, matters of legislation or decisions of a court functions of government, Non-paid, public content that is generated by users who are known political content purveyors should also be available. [2] The content of the advertisement and information about targeting criteria, including: The text, image, and/or video content and information about where the ad appeared (newsfeed, sidebar, etc.). The targeting criteria used by advertisers to design their ad campaign, as well as information about the audience that the ad actually reached. The number of impressions that an ad received within specific geographic and demographic criteria (e.g. within a political district, in a certain age range), broken down by paid vs. organic reach.
The amount of engagements that an ad received, including user actions beyond viewing an ad. Information about how much an advertiser paid to place the ad. Information about microtargeting, including whether the ad was a/b tested and the different versions of the ad; if the ad used a lookalike audience; the features (race, gender, geography, etc.) used to create that audience; if the ad was directed at platform-defined user segments or interests, and the segments or interests used; or if the ad was targeted based on a user list the advertiser already possessed.
[3] Functionality to empower, not limit, research and analysis, including:
Unique identifiers associated with each advertisement and advertiser to allow for trend analysis over time and across platforms. All images, videos, and other content in a machine-readable format accessible via a programmatic interface. The ability to download a week’s worth of data in less than 12 hours and a day’s worth of data in less than two hours.
Bulk downloading functionality of all relevant content. It should be feasible to download all historical data within one week. Search functionality by the text of the content itself, by the content author or by date range.[4] Up-to-date and historical data access, including:
Availability of advertisements within 24 hours of publication. Availability of advertisements going back 10 years, APIs should be promptly fixed when they are broken, APIs should be designed so that they either support or at least do not impede long-term studies [5] Public access. The API itself and any data collected from the API should be accessible to and shareable with the general public.
[This entry was sourced with minor edits from the Carnegie Endowment’s Partnership for Countering Influence Operations and its baseline datasets initiative. You can find more information here: https://ceip.knack.com/pcio-baseline-datasets]