Author: Brahim Zarouali

Report on Filter Bubbles in the Netherlands

On June 12th, Judith Möller presented a report on filter bubbles in the Netherlands, written together with Mykola Makhortykh and Nathali Helberger. The Commissariaat voor de Media (media authority in the Netherlands) had asked the UvA researchers to map out the extent to which filter bubbles have manifested in the news use of Dutch people. The full report can be downloaded here here.

Paddy presenting at ICA 2019


At the 69th annual ICA Conference in Washington DC, Paddy presented a study on platform ad archives, written in collaboration with Jef, Brahim, Natali & Claes. The presentation adressed the promises and pitfalls of such archives, and elaborated on several improvements. It was part of the ICA post-conference entitled “The rise of platforms: individual, institutional, and governance questions for communication research” . The full paper can be downloaded here. 

Claes & Natali mastering the RPA game

On Wednesday May 15th, Claes and Natali officially launched the new Research Priority Area (RPA) Human(e) AI. The goal of this RPA is to study the legal, ethical and societal consequences of AI and automated decision-making. Natali gave an overview presentation to introduce the RPA to the broad public, after which Claes entered a panel discussion on the role of AI in society (see image).

The whole launch event can be watched through this link

Judith conquers Switzerland

Judith was invited by the Swiss Media commission (EMEK) to present research on algorithmic news selection and public values during a public expert consultation in Bern on May 8th. She spoke about the relationship between algorithmic design and concerns about diversity and fragmentation.

Paper alert: Platform ad archives

Paddy, Jef, Brahim, Natali & Claes have written a new article on platform ad archives. Over the past year, social media platforms (e.g., Facebook & Twitter) have introduced publicly accessible databases documenting their political advertisements. In this article, the authors elaborate on the promises and pitfalls of such archives, and discuss several improvements and identify areas for future research and debate.

This paper is now available on SSRN via this link

Natali elected as a member of KNAW

Natali Helberger has been elected a member of The Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW). This academy consists of excellent members selected on the basis of their great scientific and societal achievements. The KNAW bridges the gap between science and society, and promotes quality in scholarship and strives to ensure that Dutch scholars and scientists contribute to cultural, social and economic progress. This is one of the most – if not the most – prestigious positions in Dutch academia. Congratulations Natali!


Tom’s visit to ProDemos

On March 14th, Tom Dobber was invited to present his academic insights on the effects of political microtargeting on voting intentions. This events was hosted by ProDemos (House for Democracy and the Rule of Law), in The Hague.  After the individual presentation, Tom entered a panel discussion on the topic, together with Edo Haverman (head public policy of Facebook in NL), Tom van der Meer (professor political science UvA), and Marc Oosterhout (brand strategist at N=5). Claes de Vreese moderated the panel.


Judith on a Danish mission

Judith Möller was invited to the AI 360 Human Brain workshop in Copenhagen on 21-22 March 2019. The workshop brought recognised experts together in rights and ethics, law, social science, culture, politics and economy for a multi-dimensional and thorough treatment of AI and its implications for our future societies. The outcome of AI 360 | COPENHAGEN is a report delivered to the European Commission, the Human Brain Project, and feed into a Europe-wide citizen engagement process on AI during the summer and autumn of 2019.

expert workshop about media diversity

On Thursday February 14th, Natali and Judith organized an expert workshop about media diversity policy options in data-driven media markets. They first introduced their report about filter bubbles in the Netherlands they have written for the Dutch media authority (Comissariaat voor de Media), and then discussed implications with European media and market regulators.

The report will be published publicly soon!

Jef Ausloos wins award for legal-empirical research

Jef Ausloos presented his legal-empirical research on the right of access in EU data protection law, together with Pierre Dewitte. Their research received the Privacy Papers for Policymakers award from the Future of Privacy Forum, and was presented with four other papers at the US congress in Washington DC. In this research, Jef Ausloos tested online service providers’ compliance with data subject rights on the ground (open access available here).