The Midterm Monitor tracks posts from a subset of three categories of accounts: candidates for US political offices, US media sources in English and Spanish, and foreign actors. A description of each category is below.
Click here to download the complete list of accounts monitored on the dashboard.
The monitor tracks social media posts from candidates for the US House and US Senate nationwide, and candidates in races for governor and secretary of state.
Candidates are added to the monitor at the completion of each state’s primary elections. Only candidates who win their respective party’s nomination are included. On platforms where candidates have a personal and official campaign account, only the official candidate/campaign account is included.
Candidates’ social media accounts are identified using a list provided by Ballotpedia and are verified by ASD. ASD routinely audits accounts to identify new, altered, or deleted accounts. If an account cannot be verified as authentic by ASD, it is not included. On Facebook and Instagram, if a candidate’s profile/account is a personal profile or “gated,” it cannot be tracked due to CrowdTangle limitations. CrowdTangle is the technology platform that feeds the content from monitored Facebook and Instagram accounts into the tool.
Users can filter candidate accounts by state, party (Democrat, Republican, Independent, and other), and position (governor, secretary of state, US House, and US Senate). Users can also select individual accounts by entering the candidate’s name into the search field.
The Midterm Monitor tracks posts from accounts affiliated with influential national and local media outlets, programs, and individual media personalities. It includes both English and non-English language entities.
The local media filter pulls from social media accounts associated with news outlets in 10 battleground states. The national media filter pulls from national media outlets, as well as select state and local outlets in states that are not categorized as battleground states.
Local Media Accounts
In total, the monitor collects data on more than 700 individual social media accounts across the various platforms tied to roughly 260 local media entities.
The local media filter includes only social media accounts associated with local newspapers, news websites, radio, and television broadcast news outlets in 10 battleground states (Arizona, Georgia, Florida, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Wisconsin). All other local or state media accounts in the United States outside of the battleground states are classified as national accounts (more information below) and are not searchable by state.
Local accounts include media accounts with the largest number of followers on social media platforms across media type (television, radio, broadcast news, online outlets, etc.). In some cases, prominent online outlets (for example, The Texas Tribune) were included. Individual media personalities were not included in the local media list.
National Media Accounts
In total, the monitor collects data on more than 500 individual social media accounts across the various platforms tied to approximately 160 national media entities.
National media accounts were selected based on several independent rankings used to identify the most influential outlets and pundits on a range of social media platforms and other broadcast mediums. To the extent possible, we identified the top 20 most followed/subscribed to media accounts on Facebook, Instagram, Rumble, Telegram, Twitter, and YouTube. We also selected social media accounts for the top media outlets in the following categories: broadcast news networks and programs (as determined by Nielsen ratings), news websites (as determined by site visits according to the UK-based Press Gazette), news podcasts (as determined by Apple and Spotify downloads), newspapers and magazines (as determined by circulation according to the UK-based Press Gazette), and news talk radio programs (as determined by rankings from Talk Media Inc.).
If an outlet, program, or pundit appeared in the top 20 of any of the reviewed lists, affiliated social media accounts on all monitored platforms were added to the monitor. For example, if a cable news show was among the 20 most viewed news broadcasts, all its social media accounts were included, regardless of whether those accounts ranked among the top 20 accounts on any given platform. Or if a pundit was one of the top 20 most-followed accounts on Rumble, then the accounts affiliated with that individual on the monitored platforms—Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram—were included in the Midterm Monitor. In most cases there was significant overlap between individuals and entities identified as influential by independent metrics and the most followed individuals and entities on social media channels.
In assessing the most-followed media on social media platforms, outlets, shows/programs, and individual pundits were assessed collectively. This means the most-followed media accounts on each platform include a mix of accounts associated with individuals and accounts associated with media entities. In cases where there was both an account for a prominent show host and an account for the show itself, only the account affiliated with the show was included. For example, the account for The Lead with Jake Tapper is monitored, but Jake Tapper’s personal account is not.
The national media category also captures posts from social media accounts associated with the top major newspaper in every state, with the exception of outlets from the 10 monitored battleground states, which are included under the local media category as explained above.
Spanish and Other Non-English Language Media Accounts
Non-English language accounts are included in both the national and local media lists. Accounts were selected using the same criteria as those used to identify English-language national and local media accounts.
In total, the monitor collects data on more than 50 non-English language entities and more than 150 social media accounts.
NOTE: Language classification is determined by the typical language used by an account—not the language used in an individual post. That means that if a Spanish-language outlet posts in English, that post will still be classified as Spanish on the dashboard.
The monitor collects data from social media accounts affiliated with Chinese, Iranian, and Russian government officials and state-funded media. Account lists were sourced from ASD’s Hamilton 2.0 dashboard.
This category contains accounts of key individuals and institutions that represent the governments of China, Iran, and Russia, including:
- All known embassy, consular, ambassadorial, and consul general accounts, and accounts of other prominent diplomats (as determined by more than 5,000 Twitter followers or a label applied by Twitter or Facebook designating the account as a government official)
- Official accounts representing the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as well as agencies and organizations that have an international or foreign policy focus (e.g., the Russian Mission to NATO)
- Key individuals within the Chinese, Iranian, and Russian governments
This category contains accounts affiliated with China, Iran, and Russia’s various state-funded media outlets, including:
- Accounts connected to China, Iran, or Russia’s state-funded international broadcasters and online news and information portals
- Accounts connected to television programs on state-backed media outlets
- Accounts of key management personnel and prominent journalists, show hosts, and pundits (as determined by more than 5,000 Twitter followers or a label applied by Twitter or Facebook designating the account as a state media account)
Because political conversations about the United States are not limited to government officials or state media outlets that are based in or exclusively target audiences in the United States, foreign actor accounts were included regardless of their location or primary language. As a result, there may be a significant amount of non-relevant content in this section, including posts categorized as “election-related” that reference elections in other countries.
WARNING: These accounts often engage with hashtags, people, topics, and URLs that are in no way affiliated with the Chinese, Iranian, or Russian governments. It would be incorrect to, without further analysis, label anyone or anything that appears on the monitor as being connected to state-backed propaganda.