Addressing public health emergencies via Facebook surveys: advantages, challenges, and practical considerations

Grow, A., Perrotta, D., Del Fava, E., Cimentada, J., Rampazzo, F., Gil-Clavel, B. S., Zagheni, E.
SocArXiv papers
6 pages.
originally posted on: 28 May 2020 (2020), unpublished
Open Access


Surveys of the general population can provide crucial information for designing effective non-pharmaceutical interventions to tackle public health emergencies, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet, conducting such surveys can be difficult, especially when timely data collection is required. In this paper, we discuss our experiences with using targeted Facebook advertising campaigns to address these difficulties in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic. We describe central advantages, challenges, and practical considerations. This includes a discussion of potential sources of bias and how they can be addressed.

Keywords: Europe, USA, World, demographic and health surveys, digital demography, epidemics
The Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (MPIDR) in Rostock is one of the leading demographic research centers in the world. It's part of the Max Planck Society, the internationally renowned German research society.