Advertisement

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)

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Targeted advertising Social media Politics Immigration 

References

  1. 1.
    European Union, Events of 2019. Human Rights Watch (2020). https://www.hrw.org/world-report/2020/country-chapters/european-union
  2. 2.
    Amaro, S.: Salvini’s return? A regional vote in Italy risks further chaos in Rome (2020). https://www.cnbc.com/2020/01/13/matteo-salvini-return-a-regional-vote-in-italy-risks-further-chaos-in-rome.html
  3. 3.
    Beer, D., Redden, J., Williamson, B., Yuill, S.: Landscape summary: online targeting: what is online targeting, what impact does it have, and how can we maximise benefits and minimise harms? Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation (2019)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Bulli, G., Soare, S.C.: Immigration and crisis in a new immigration country: the case of Italy. Hrvatska komparativna javna uprava: časopis za teoriju praksu javne uprave 18(1), 127–156 (2018)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Coticchia, F., Vignoli, V.: Populist parties and foreign policy: the case of Italy’s five star movement. Br. J. Polit. Int. Relat. 1369148120922808 (2020)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Council of Europe: Internet and electoral campaigns - study on the use of internet in electoral campaigns (2018). https://edoc.coe.int/en/internet/7614-internet-and-electoral-campaigns-study-on-the-use-of-internet-in-electoral-campaigns.html
  7. 7.
    Cusumano, E., Gombeer, K.: In deep waters: the legal, humanitarian and political implications of closing Italian ports to migrant rescuers. Mediterr. Polit. 25(2), 245–253 (2020)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Diamond, P.: The Italian democratic party and social democratic parties in Europe. Italian Polit. (2019)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Emanuele, V., Maggini, N., Paparo, A.: The times they are a-changin’: party campaign strategies in the 2018 Italian election. West Eur. Polit. 43(3), 665–687 (2020)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Falk, F.: Invasion, infection, invisibility: an iconology of illegalized immigration. Technical report, Basel University Library (2010)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
  12. 12.
    FRONTEX: Migratory routes. European Border and Coast Guard Agency (2020). https://frontex.europa.eu/along-eu-borders/migratory-routes/central-mediterranean-route
  13. 13.
    Gerbaudo, P., Screti, F.: Reclaiming popular sovereignty: the vision of the state in the discourse of podemos and the movimento 5 stelle. Javnost Public 24(4), 320–335 (2017)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Grave, E., Bojanowski, P., Gupta, P., Joulin, A., Mikolov, T.: Learning word vectors for 157 languages. In: Proceedings of the International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC 2018) (2018)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Hegelich, S., Serrano, J.C.M.: Microtargeting (2019)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Hern, A.: Facebook to curb microtargeting in political advertising (2019). https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/nov/22/facebook-to-curb-microtargeting-in-political-advertising
  17. 17.
    Ivaldi, G., Lanzone, M.E., Woods, D.: Varieties of populism across a left-right spectrum: the case of the front national, the northern league, podemos and five star movement. Swiss Polit. Sci. Rev. 23(4), 354–376 (2017)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Joppke, C., et al.: Challenge to the Nation-State: Immigration in Western Europe and the United States. Oxford University Press on Demand, Oxford (1998)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Frosini, J.O., Jones, E., Pasquino, G.: Emilia-Romagna: a setback for Salvini or a comeback for the left? (2020). https://www.bipr.eu/PROFILESUMMARIES/20200130.pdf
  20. 20.
    Mazzoleni, G., Bracciale, R.: Socially mediated populism: the communicative strategies of political leaders on Facebook. Palgrave Commun. 4(1), 1–10 (2018)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Mosca, L., Tronconi, F.: Beyond left and right: the eclectic populism of the five star movement. West Eur. Polit. 42(6), 1258–1283 (2019)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Mozilla: Data Collection Log – EU Ad Transparency Report (2019). https://adtransparency.mozilla.org/eu/log/
  23. 23.
    Natale, S., Ballatore, A.: The web will kill them all: new media, digital utopia, and political struggle in the Italian 5-star movement. Media Cult. Soc. 36(1), 105–121 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Pasini, N., Regalia, M.: The 2018 Italian general elections: focus on immigration. The Twenty-fourth Italian Report on Migrations 2018 (2019)Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Ribeiro, F.N., et al.: On microtargeting socially divisive ads: a case study of Russia-linked ad campaigns on Facebook. In: Proceedings of the Conference on Fairness, Accountability, and Transparency, pp. 140–149 (2019)Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Rosenberg, M.: Ad tool Facebook built to fight disinformation doesn’t work as advertised. The New York Times, July 2019. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/25/technology/facebook-ad-library.html
  27. 27.
    Saso, R.: L’immigrazione in Italia: tra dati reali, (dis)informazione e percezione. l’Eurispes (2019). https://www.leurispes.it/limmigrazione-in-italia-tra-dati-reali-disinformazione-e-percezione/
  28. 28.
    Smith, A.: Nations and Nationalism in a Global Era. Wiley, Hoboken (2013)Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Wintour, P.: Italian minister defends methods that led to 87% drop in migrants from Libya, September 2017. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/sep/07/italian-minister-migrants-libya-marco-minniti

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

Personalised recommendations