The Political Microtargeting Project: Safeguarding democratic values in digital political practices

June 2nd marks the start of a new ICDS research project: the Political Microtargeting Project.

Political microtargeting takes a central feature in today’s political campaigning, which has a great impact on democratic processes and legitimacy. Political microtargeting, and the conditions under which the use of AI and data analytics can contribute to, or threaten digital democracy are questions of central academic, societal and political importance. With the Political Microtargeting Project, ICDS studies the chances and threats of microtargeting to society and formulates policy directions to limit the threats and embrace the chances.

An interdisciplinary team of researchers, consisting of Natali Helberger, Claes de Vreese, Beate Roessler, Sarah Eskens, Eva Groen-Reijman, Arman Noroozian and Fabio Votta, will focus on the conditions of legitimacy of political microtargeting, measuring and making political microtargeting practices visible, the impact on citizens and society, and devising rules and policy guidelines.

The Political Microtargeting Project is a collaboration between the Amsterdam School of Communication Research, the Institute for Information Law and the Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis. The research will be carried out in close cooperation with societal stakeholders (including the Ministries for Justice and BZK) and non-academic partners, such as AlgorithmWatch and the UK NGO ‘Who Targets Me‘.