My research examines social media and campaigning in contemporary democracies. My interests cover the following areas:
- Political parties
- Political campaigning
- Digital technology
- Political advertising
- Targeted advertising
- Organic campaigning
- Traditional campaigning
At the moment I am continuing my PhD upon the use of Facebook. With several research papers under construction. Below is some of my academic and journalistic output, alongside their domain for access.
My Orchid Id is – https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4931-9349.
- We have finally seen behind the parties data machine, A/B testing at the 2019 General Election. Election Analysis (forthcoming), 2020. Tristan Hotham, 11th December, 2019
Research in blogs
- Political Content on Social Media 2020. eMarketer. 28th March, 2020.
- General Election 2019: what are the parties telling us via their targeted adverts? PSA News Blog. 11th December, 2019.
- The digital campaign: Targeted advertising in the 2019 General Election. PSA News Blog, 6th December, 2019.
- We need to talk about A/B testing: Brexit, attack ads and the election campaign. LSE Brexit Blog, 13th November, 2019.
Journalism based upon my research
- ITV Election Night coverage. ITV News. 12/13th December, 2019.
- Spending on Facebook political ads reveals ‘complicated battleground’ as Hull heads to the polls. Hull Live. 12th December, 2019.
- UPDATE 1-Thousands of UK political ads missing from Facebook archive searches. CNBC News. 10th December, 2019
- Thousands of UK Political Ads Went Missing From Facebook Archive Searches. New York Times. 10th December, 2019
- Political ads disappear from Facebook tracking tool in ‘catastrophic loss’ for transparency campaigners. The Independent. 10th December, 2019.
- Researchers fear ‘catastrophe’ as political ads ‘disappear’ from Facebook library. Sky News. 10th December, 2019.
- The Big Brexit Bet That Isn’t Paying Off. Bloomberg Opinion. 6th December, 2019. Using research I undertook for Who Targets Me on Liberal Democrat marginals.
- The Tories are using Facebook to wipe out the Lib Dem vote. Wired. 7th December, 2019. Using research I undertook for Who Targets Me on Conservative targeting.
- Tories hiding Boris Johnson from London voters in Facebook adverts. Evening Standard. 4th December, 2019.
- lo fi boriswave: Why are the Conservatives posting 71-minute hypnotic videos to YouTube? New Statesman. 26th November, 2019.
- Voters ‘used as lab rats’ in political Facebook adverts, warn analysts. Observer/Guardian. 9th November, 2019.
- This story went on to be featured on the Andrew Marr show.The full write up of the research is available here and here.
- Facebook is restricting search results – is this taking transparency seriously. The Conversation. April 11th, 2018.
- Facebook risks starting a war on knowledge. The Conversation. August 17th, 2018.
- How the Conservatives won the social media campaign. The Economist. 16th January, 2020.
- General Election 2019: Labour presented a more optimistic social media campaign than the Conservatives, but it failed to translate to voters. iNews. 13th December, 2019.
- The real impact of political ads on social media. The Drum. 12th December, 2019.
- Iain Dale show. LBC. 11th December, 2019.
- Jeremy Corbyn has reached nearly 650k people online – and reached beyond his base. The Mirror. 11th December, 2019.
- Facebook charges more for ads that aim to cross the political divide. New Scientist. 11th December, 2019.
- Interview on BBC Radio Hereford and Worcester. 11th December, 2019.
- A Tory social media blitz is taking over Facebook and YouTube. The Telegraph, 10th December, 2019.
- Snapchat enjoys a bump in political advertising. Financial Times, 8th December, 2019.
- UK election: parties take battle for ideas to social media. France 24 via AFP. 7th December, 2019. This article via the Agence France-Presse also featured internationally via Gulf News, Malay Mail, IstoÉ Dinheiro, La Libre Belgium ans El Universal.
- UK Election: The main parties embrace a local digital strategy to win over voters. First Draft News. November 23rd, 2019.
- UK Election: How political parties are targeting voters on Facebook, Google and Snapchat ads. First Draft News. November 14th, 2019.
- Drive-time Facebook campaign report. BBC Radio Bristol. 21st November, 2019.
- Report on Facebook advertising – BBC North East and Cumbria. 4th December, 2019.
- Report on A/B testing. Channel 5 News. November 20th, 2019
The Conservatives have spent over £125,000 on targeted adverts across Facebook and Instagram since Boris Johnson became Prime Minister.— Channel 5 News (@5_News) November 20, 2019
Despite promising “the biggest cash boost in history”, only 2.2% of their ads focus solely on the NHS.
So what else are they targeting online? pic.twitter.com/CKixYJE8fx
- Is it party leader pages or party pages that matter most on UK Facebook? Presentation given at the 2019 PSA Conference, Nottingham.
- Researching Facebook in troubled times. Presentation given at the 2018 SWDTP Conference, Bristol.
- Facebook and Big Data: Has it changed party campaigning in Britain forever? Presentation given at the 2016 EPOP Conference, Canterbury.