Category Archives: announcements

Paddy’s conference visit (CMPF) in the capital of Europe

On Friday December 7th, Phd candidate Paddy Leerssen traveled to Brussels to attend a conference organized by the European University Institute’s Center for Media Pluralism and Freedom: ‘Monitoring Media Pluralism in Europe: Between Old Risks and New threats’. Findings were presented of the latest Media Pluralism Monitor report, a massive survey on the state of play of media pluralism and press freedom in Europe spanning 31 states including all EU Member States. The group included representatives from the European Commission, Council of Europe and ERGA. In addition to the Monitor’s latest findings, the group also discussed new challenges for the monitoring of online media – a topic which is highly relevant to Paddy’s research, which focuses on algorithmic transparency and the governance of media pluralism in social media recommender systems!


Team Personalised present at the Digital Society Conference

On October 27th, the personalised team (Natali, Claes, Tom, Gijs and Brahim) attended the first Digital Society Conferencein Amersfoort. This initiative is a joint venture of fourteen Dutch universities, each of which is investing in one or more of the seven programme lines. On the conference, the team gave a presentation on the topic of political microtargeting (as part of the track ‘Citizenship & Democracy’), and engaged in an interesting interaction with stakeholders from different backgrounds. We had a very inspiring and productive day.

Sarah goes Cambridge!

Last week Sarah moved to Cambridge, United Kingdom, for a five month research visit at the Centre for Intellectual Property and Information Law (CIPIL), Faculty of Law, University of Cambridge. Sarah is currently working on the third paper of her doctoral project. In Cambridge she can engage with and present her work to a new group of researchers, including David Erdos, former IViR-colleague Christina Angelopoulos, and laywers and computer scientists working at Cambridge’s Computer Laboratory. Sarah obtained a grant from the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds for her visit.

Good luck in Cambridge Sarah!

Symposium: Is there a misinformation crisis?

We organize a new RPA Personalised Communication Symposium:

Title: Is there a misinformation crisis?

Date/Time: June 5, 15.00-16.30 hours

Speakers: Professor Rasmus Kleis Nielsen (University of Oxford), member of the High level expert group on Fake News and online disinformation); Tarlach McGonagle (IViR); Amelie Heldt (HBI)

Chair: Natali Helberger

Location: IViR – Institute for Information Law: REC A
Nieuwe Achtergracht 166
1018 WV Amsterdam

We cordially invite everyone who is interested to this Symposium being organised by the RPA Personalised Communication.
The public and academic debate over the scope and consequences of the Misinformation crisis is raging. The term Fake News is widely critiqued and a new vocabulary to describe, analyse, and address the challenges of the new information environment is being developed. The EU High Level Group finished its recommendations and the European Commission is now launching a series of measures to deal with this phenomenon. In this event, we first have Professor Rasmus Kleis Nielsen (Oxford University) and Member of the High Level Group report on the work, conclusion, and current follow up of the HLG. He will offer a lecture on this topic. His presentation is followed by a short response and intervention by Amelie Heldt (Hans Bredow Institute) from the perspective of current German interventions and laws. Next, Tarlach McGonagle (University of Amsterdam) will offer his vision on the topic from a Fundamental Rights perspective. The interventions are followed by Q&A and debate, moderated by Professor Natali Helberger.

If you plan to come, please register by sending an e-mail to

New publication: A literature review of Online Behavioral Advertising

Our Commerce team (Sophie Boerman, Sanne Kruikemeier and Frederik Zuiderveen Borgesius) just published an article in the Literature Review Corner of Journal of Advertising about Online Behavioral Advertising. In their article, they provide an overview of the empirical, academic research regarding OBA. For example, they discuss consumers’ privacy concerns, the effects of OBA on purchases and click through rates, and whether transparency approaches help consumers understand the practice (they don’t).

Advertisers are increasingly monitoring people’s online behavior and using the information collected to show people individually targeted advertisements. This phenomenon is called online behavioral advertising (OBA). Although advertisers can benefit from OBA, the practice also raises concerns about privacy. Therefore, OBA has received much attention from advertisers, consumers, policymakers, and scholars. Despite this attention, there is neither a strong definition of OBA nor a clear accumulation of empirical findings. This article defines OBA and provides an overview of the empirical findings by developing a framework that identifies and integrates all factors that can explain consumer responses toward OBA. The framework suggests that the outcomes of OBA are dependent on advertiser-controlled factors (e.g., the level of personalization) and consumer-controlled factors (e.g., knowledge and perceptions about OBA and individual characteristics). The article also overviews the theoretical positioning of OBA by placing the theories that are used to explain consumers’ responses to OBA in our framework. Finally, we develop a research agenda and discuss implications for policymakers and advertisers.

You can find the article here:  (Open Access)


Amsterdam symposium on political micro-targeting

Under the aegis of the Personalized Communication Research Priority Area of the University of Amsterdam, the Institute for Information Law, and the Amsterdam School of Communication Research organize a one day symposium on the theory and practice of political micro-targeting. The symposium discusses papers submitted to the upcoming special issue of the Internet Policy Review on the topic.


Date:                     Friday, 22 September 2017

Location:           REC Room C10.20, Nieuwe Achtergracht 166, 1018 WV Amsterdam

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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: