Facebook is mining its data of users' posts to find out how users feel about certain candidates or issues and sharing that data with ABC News and BuzzFeed for use in their 2016 reporting, the social-networking site will announce on Friday.
The data will be gathered from the posts of Facebook users in the United States 18 and older, classifying sentiments about a politician or issue as positive, negative or neutral. The data can also be broken down into sentiments by gender and location, making it possible to see how Facebook users in the key primary states of Iowa or New Hampshire feel about certain presidential candidates, or how women in Florida feel about same-sex marriage.
"Given the volume of conversation around politics on Facebook, we believe this data truly represents what the American people think about the potential candidates. We’re excited to partner with ABC News and BuzzFeed News, who will both bring their unique journalistic perspective to this data,” Andy Mitchell, Facebook’s director of news and global media pPartnerships, said in a statement.
A Facebook spokesperson said the data "is gathered in an aggregated and depersonalized manner in a privacy safe way."