January 23, 2022

New Database: The Political Image Machine (Search Social Media Photos Posted by 2016 Presidential Candidates)

2015-11-10_12-48-48The Political Image Machine database is made available by Fusion.net and aggregates images posted by presidential candidates to:

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Twitter

Images tags are searchable and users can limit searches to a specific source.

Results can be sorted by date or popularity.

From a Story About Developing this New Resource:

The machine methodically captures every image—almost 70,000 at this writing—posted by every Republican and Democratic presidential candidate on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. To provide the most complete picture of these social feeds, it includes images that candidates posted before they announced their campaigns, and from candidates who have dropped out.


We used a product called Clarifai to assign automatic tags for each picture, from “guns” and “church” to “coffee” and “vegetables.” Clarifai uses a deep learning algorithm known as a convolutional neural network to figure out the tags. (Essentially, it’s a statistical model that has been trained on large numbers of images labeled by humans.)

We chose this automated method because of the sheer number of images and the novelty of the technology. It also allows us to add images in real time as the campaigns post them.

Read the Complete Article

Direct to The Political Image Machine Database

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.