Center for Studies in Demography and Ecology

Next Computational Demography Working Group Meeting

Posted: 11/30/2018 (CSDE Research)

For the second meeting of this year’s Computational Demography Working Group, sponsored by CSDE and eScience, we’ll hold a roundtable on using Facebook advertising platform data for demographic research. The CDWG will meet on Thursday, 12/6/18, 12:00-1:30 PM in Raitt room 114. All are welcome, and lunch will be provided. If you would like to join our mailing list, please fill out this form.

Three UW graduate students with active projects using Facebook ads data will lead the conversation:

Lee Fiorio (Geography) investigates the possibility of combining traditional data on migrants with estimates of migrants from Facebook Ads to produce more detailed cross-tabulations than available from traditional data sources. Using data from Facebook Ads as the seed, he uses Iterative Proportional Fitting to estimate a three-dimensional cross tabulation (migrant stocks by age by sex) from UN-published migrant data.

Connor Gilroy (Sociology), in joint work with Ridhi Kashyap (Oxford), investigates the disclosure of sexualities and relationship statuses on Facebook using the Facebook Marketing API, and how these disclosures vary by age, gender, and geography in the United States. He compares proportions of sexual minorities to Gallup and Census data to assess in which cases and to what extent Facebook disclosures might be a reliable signal of underlying prevalences of different identities.

Neal Marquez (Sociology) is currently working on two projects using Facebook ads data. The first project is a proof of concept, using the Facebook Marketing API to measure stocks and flows of Arabic-speaking migrants in Lesvos and comparing this data against more traditional measures of migration stocks and flows as reported by monitoring agencies within Greece. The second project measures how Arabic speaking expats within Turkey differ in their expressed interests from Turkish-speaking Turkish natives via their like and behavioral patterns on Facebook.

As background, we’d encourage you to have a look at the following recent paper in Demography, authored by many UW- and CSDE-affiliated scholars:

Cesare, Nina, Hedwig Lee, Tyler McCormick, Emma Spiro, and Emilio Zagheni. 2018. “Promises and Pitfalls of Using Digital Traces for Demographic Research.” Demography 55(5):1979–99. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13524-018-0715-2