For the past month we’ve been working hard on the German iteration of Who Targets Me. To fill in those of you that are just joining us, we’re a grassroots movement to investigate and produce the first datasets of targeted dark advertising, primarily found on Facebook.
This is important because campaigns use this technology (to name a few examples…) to dissuade voters that don’t agree with them, tweak advertising to their target audience’s psychometrics, and to be honest, the sheer lack of data available makes it impossible to know what else is going on.
Germany’s privacy focussed culture and heavy limits on campaign spending place the electorate at relatively low risk compared to the USA or even UK. However a very early analysis of the data points to some high volume dark ad A/B testing or targeting from the major parties. Next week i’ll be joining the Buzzfeed investigative team in Berlin for a closer look at the dataset. Follow our German language Twitter account @WhoTargetsMeDE for live updates.
- Over 500 users
- 71.5% constituencies represented
- Over 11,000 unique adverts identified
Democracy is Everything
Restless at being unable to vote, British expat Mr Chris Adams organised a team of volunteers to represent Who Targets Me at Factory Berlin’s #DemocracyIsEverything hackday.. and we finished 3rd out of 20! Over the 24h period we managed to seriously improve the communication on the site, localise (cultural translations as much as language translations) and overhaul the language and front page of the site. Huge thanks to Alice Rose, Judith Carnaby, Nick Stenning, Katharina Rasch and Brian Melicam for volunteering their time to the project.
You can read more about the event at Wired.