Category Archives: announcements

Join our Personalized Communication Preconference at Etmaal van de Communicatiewetenschap

On Thursday January 26, there will be a preconference about Personalized Communication organized by members of our team.

The preconference aims to contribute to the debate regarding personalized communication, by bringing together researchers from the Netherlands and Belgium that study personalized communication. By assembling these researchers, we aim to discuss research that addresses all fields of personalized communication, including journalism, political communication, advertising, health communication. By discussing our research, we aim to identify ongoing research regarding personalized communication, and address theoretical, methodological, and ethical issues related to this research. For instance, we want to detect where there may be theoretical and methodological differences and overlap and stimulate a discussion about these theories and methods. In addition, we hope to discuss shared research ideas, inspire researchers, and bring about new research collaborations.

Interested? You are very welcome to join the preconference!

Who: All researchers interested in personalized communication and that are going to Etmaal 2017
When: Thursday January 26, 10:15-11:15
Where: Tilburg University, Dante building, DZ6
More information:

New publication: Shrinking core? Exploring the differential agenda setting power of traditional and personalized news media

This paper aims to shed light on the impact of personalized news media on the shared issue agenda that provides democracies with a set of topics that structure the public debate. The advent of personalized news media that use smart algorithms to tailor the news offer to the user challenges the established way of setting the agenda of such a common core of issues.

This paper tests the effects of personalized news use on perceived importance of these issues in the common core. In particular, the authors study whether personalized news use leads to a concentration at the top of the issue agenda or to a more diverse issue agenda with a long tail of topics.

Based on a cross-sectional survey of a representative population sample (n = 1,556), we find that personalized news use does not lead to a small common core in which few topics are discussed extensively, yet there is a relationship between personalized news use and a preference for less discussed topics. This is a result of a specific user profile of personalized news users: younger, more educated news users are more interested in topics at the fringes of the common core and also make more use of personalized news offers. The results are discussed in the light of media diversity and recent advances in public sphere research.

This paper contributes to the ongoing debate about algorithmic news dissemination. While, currently, much attention is reserved for the role of platforms as information gatekeepers in relationship to the news media, maybe their ability to enable or hinder the audience in discovering and distributing news content is part of what really characterizes their influence on the market place of ideas.

Full text available here:  Shrinking core? Exploring the differential agenda setting power of traditional and personalized news media: info: Vol 18, No 6

Personalised in expert debate in Tegenlicht Meet UP: “What makes you click”

Natali Helberger and Marijn Sax from Personalised Communication will enter into debate with the makers of a documentary about how Big Data, algorithms and persuasive strategies are used to influence our behavior as voters, consumers, readers and citizens. What are the implications of data-driven persuasion strategies on our autonomy, attention and even our political choices? What does it mean that major internet companies know more about us than we do? What goals do data-driven persuasion strategies serve? And what is the role of the law, regulation and governments? Do we need a code of algorithmic ethics? The debate is organized by the Dutch public broadcaster VPRO, and part of the successful Tegenlicht Meet Up series. It takes place on 28 September from 2000 onwards in Pakhuis de Zwijger in Amsterdam. The debate (in Dutch) can also be followed via life stream. Entrance is free, registration needed.

Talk: Big Data, Big Responsibility

This Thursday, 26 May, Frederik will be speaking at an event organised by the Dutch Section of the International Commission of Jurists: “Big Data, Big Responsibility”. Other speakers are Mr. Bart van der Sloot (IViR), Mr. Merel Koning (Pl.Lab), and Mr. Vincent Böhre (Privacy First).

The presentations and discussion will be in Dutch. More information here:

Facebook Opens Up To Branded Content From Publishers

After wooing publishers with the prospect of massive reach and faster content delivery, Facebook is sweetening the deal by allowing publisher to publish branded content on behalf of advertisers on its platform, the social network announced in a blog post this week.

The move will help publishers seeking to capitalize on native advertising while still enjoying the advantages of social distribution.

Source: Facebook Opens Up To Branded Content From Publishers 04/11/2016

6 April: Kristina Irion & Frederik Zuiderveen Borgesius speak at European Parliament: ‘The Reform of the e-Privacy Directive: How to get it right?’

In December 2015, the EU reached agreement on the text for the General Data Protection Regulation. This Regulation is expected to enter into force in 2018.

Now the European Commission starts a consultation on reforming the e-Privacy Directive. That Directive regulates privacy, communications confidentiality, and personal data processing in the electronic communications sector. The directive also requires companies to obtain consent for the use of tracking cookies.

The Greens organise an event about the reform of the e-Privacy Directive in Brussels, on 6 April. Kristina speaks in the session ‘Scope, Relation to the General Data Protection Regulation’, and Frederik speaks in the session ‘Big Data, Tracking, Cookies, Notification Fatigue’

More information about the event here.

A recent paper on the e-Privacy Directive, by Frederik and Joris van Hoboken can be found here.

First conference on Empirical Legal Studies in Europe will take place in Amsterdam

First Conference on Empirical Legal Studies in Europe (CELSE) takes place at the University of Amsterdam, on 21-22 June. Keynote speakers: Jennifer H. Arlen (NYU School of Law), Ian Ayres (Yale Law School), Bernard Black (Northwestern University School of Law) and Rens Bod (University of Amsterdam). Venue: University of Amsterdam, Faculty of Law. Paper submission deadline: 15 February 2016 (6:00 CET).

For more information and the call for papers visit the UvA website.