Facebook Ads: Politics of Migration in Italy

  • Arthur Capozzi
  • Gianmarco De Francisci Morales
  • Yelena MejovaEmail author
  • Corrado Monti
  • André Panisson
  • Daniela Paolotti
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 12467)


Targeted online advertising is on the forefront of political communication, allowing hyper-local advertising campaigns around elections and issues. In this study, we employ a new resource for political ad monitoring – Facebook Ads Library – to examine advertising concerning the issue of immigration in Italy. A crucial topic in Italian politics, it has recently been a focus of several populist movements, some of which have adopted social media as a powerful tool for voter engagement. Indeed, we find evidence of targeting by the parties both in terms of geography and demographics (age and gender). For instance, Five Star Movement reaches a younger audience when advertising about immigration, while other parties’ ads have a more male audience when advertising on this issue. We also notice a marked rise in advertising volume around elections, as well as a shift to more general audience. Thus, we illustrate political advertising targeting that likely has an impact on public opinion on a topic involving potentially vulnerable populations, and urge the research community to include online advertising in the monitoring of public discourse.


Targeted advertising Social media Politics Immigration 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Arthur Capozzi
    • 1
  • Gianmarco De Francisci Morales
    • 1
  • Yelena Mejova
    • 1
    Email author
  • Corrado Monti
    • 1
  • André Panisson
    • 1
  • Daniela Paolotti
    • 1
  1. 1.ISI FoundationTurinItaly

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