Facebook Electoral Segmentation and Target Political Marketing

Henry Farrell over at Crooked Timber:

Republican Internet consultant Patrick Ruffini points to this fascinating resource for figuring out the raw numbers of liberal, moderate and conservative Facebook users interested in a specific issue. Don’t try to create a flyer or whatever – just go to the “targetting” section, type the topic that you are interested in into the keywords section, and see how the numbers change whether you click Liberal, Moderate and Conservative (there’s further microtargeting of cities etc available too). For example, about 2,520 self-declared liberal Facebook users declare blogging as one of their interests, as opposed to 1,320 moderates and 1,100 conservatives. 5,180 liberals show the good taste to declare My Bloody Valentine as one of their favourite bands, as opposed to 1,120 moderates, and only 340 conservatives. Less obviously, the number of liberals (7,300) and conservatives (7,580) who like bluegrass music is about the same1. Obviously, treat these numbers with extreme caution; there is no way that Facebook users are a random sample of the population 2, but still, this promises much idle entertainment.