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.
This team paper examines whether personalized communication from companies affects our willingness to engage in online self-disclosure. We examine how we balance our sense of eventual benefits, threats to privacy, and perceptions of trust when companies collect online information with which to personalize their services. Our results show that these personalization effects are context-dependent. Personalization is seen as negative when done by news and commercial organizations. This is not, however, the case with health websites.
We presented our new work on pathways to online news use at the annual conference of the ECPR. For this project we make use of a combination of tracking and survey data. It is a collaboration with Lisa Merten and Cornelius Puschmann of the Hans-Bredow Institute in Hamburg, Germany.
We were happy to learn that a part of the national final highschool exams in the Netherlands (the eindexamen maatschappijwetenschappen vwo) featured an excerpt from a blog post we wrote earlier about the findings from our research. Referring to polarization, students were asked questions about the role of the media and of media regulators.
Last week, Sanne Kruikemeier participated in a Tegenlicht Meet Up ‘Verslaafd aan het algoritme’ (‘addicted to the algorithm’) in Pakhuis de Zwijger. You can rewatch the entire meeting in the video below:
The 2018 Amsterdam Symposium On News Personalisation brought together editors, journalists, technologists, and academics to discuss the shared questions news personalisation confronts them with. The members of the Personews project started off the symposium by presenting the ways they have and will continue to further our understanding of news personalisation. Afterwards, participants discussed the various problems they are currently facing, as well as the different solutions they came up with to address them. Following the plenary discussion, participants broke off into groups to discuss specific aspects of news personalisation in more detail. One group, for example, discussed the way news personalisation could promote the editorial values of the media organization which uses it. This poses both broad normative challenges, like the need to revisit these values and identify the ways in which they interact with news personalisation, as well as very concrete problems, like the need to translate these values into code and measure whether they are being promoted. The full account of these discussions is available in the report.
Judith will be speaking at the Struggle for peace event on April 7th in Utrecht. She will be part of the discussion on how to fix the future, and is quite curious herself how the future can be fixed – and whether it needs fixing. If you want to know, be sure to find out at 15:45.