Loading Events

CITP Special Event: Bringing Transparency to Digital Political Campaigns, a Symposium at Princeton University

Friday, December 2, 2022
9:00 am - 3:30 pm


Robertson Hall
Robertson Hall Princeton University
Princeton, NJ 08544 United States

Click here to view the videos from Sessions 1 and 2.

Click here to view the videos of the keynote address and Sessions 3 and 4.

With every election cycle, political campaigns become more and more reliant on online platforms to target voters. Yet, regulatory measures for campaigns have not kept pace with the rapid development of digital campaigning. The public is largely in the dark about the tactics campaigns use on platforms like TikTok, Google and Facebook to distribute their campaign messaging.

In this day-long symposium, the Center for Information Technology Policy (CITP) and the Center for the Study of Democratic Politics (CSDP) has assembled experts to discuss the extent of the influence online platforms have on elections. We will discuss the strategies campaigns use to influence voters, including the use of social media influencers, and how we can develop mechanisms that promote democratic oversight of digital campaigns.

On the heels of the 2022 midterms, our goal is to learn from recent elections and help us improve federal and state mechanisms for monitoring online campaigning in time for 2024.

CITP Special Event: Bringing Transparency to Digital Political Campaigns, a Symposium at Princeton


Session 1 (9 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.): Understanding the Evolving Use of Online Platform Tools in Shaping Campaign Strategies


Moderator: Andy Guess, Princeton University


Session 2 (10:30 a.m. -11:45 a.m.): Addressing the Challenges of Monitoring Campaign Activities Online


Moderator: Rebecca Weiss, Princeton 


  • Ali, Muhammad, Piotr Sapiezynski, Miranda Bogen, Aleksandra Korolova, Alan Mislove, and Aaron Rieke. 2019. “Discrimination through Optimization: How Facebook’s Ad Delivery Can Lead to Skewed Outcomes.” Proceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction 3 (CSCW): 1–30.
  • Ali, Muhammad, Piotr Sapiezynski, Aleksandra Korolova, Alan Mislove, and Aaron Rieke. 2021. “Ad Delivery Algorithms: The Hidden Arbiters of Political Messaging.” Proceedings of the 14th ACM International Conference on Web Search and Data Mining, WSDM ’21, , March, 13–21.
  • Bashir, Muhammad Ahmad, and Christo Wilson. 2018. “Diffusion of User Tracking Data in the Online Advertising Ecosystem.” Proceedings on Privacy Enhancing Technologies 2018 (4): 85–103.
  • Kim, Seo-young Silvia. 2021. “How Much To Ask? Platforms, Parties, and Suggested Amounts in Political Fundraising.” Working Paper.
  • Kim, Seo-young Silvia, and Zhao Li. 2022. “Keep Winning with WinRed? Online Fundraising Platform as the Party’s Public Good.” Working Paper, April. 
  • Kim, Seo-young Silvia, Jan Zilinsky, and Brian Brew. 2022. “Donate To Help Us Fight Back: Mobilization Rhetoric in Political Fundraising.” APSA Preprints.
  • Manning, Eric, and Will Schulz. 2022. “Recurring Contributions and the Online Exploitation of Donors.” Working Paper.
  • Papakyriakopoulos, Orestis, Christelle Tessono, Arvind Narayanan, and Mihir Kshirsagar. 2022. “How Algorithms Shape the Distribution of Political Advertising: Case Studies of Facebook, Google, and TikTok.” Proceedings of the 2022 AAAI/ACM Conference on AI, Ethics, and Society, July, 532–46.

Lunch and Keynote (Noon to 1 p.m.)

Keynote address Commissioner Weintraub at 12:30 p.m.

Session 3: (1 p.m. to 2:15 p.m.): Understanding the Potential Harms of Digital Campaigns


Moderator: Jonathan Mayer, Princeton University 


  • Kreiss, Daniel, and Bridget Barrett. 2020. “Democratic Tradeoffs: Platforms and Political Advertising.” The Ohio State Technology Law Journal 16 (2): 493. 
  • Mathur, Arunesh, Angelina Wang, Carsten Schwemmer, Maia Hamin, Brandon M. Stewart, and Arvind Narayanan. 2022. “Manipulative Tactics Are the Norm in Political Emails: Evidence from 300K Emails from the 2020 U.S. Election Cycle.” Big Data & Society.
  • Li, Zhao. 2022. “Lemons in the Political Marketplace: A Big-Data Approach to Detect ‘Scam PACs’.” Working Paper.

Session 4: (2:20 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.): Developing Regulatory Responses that Promote Oversight


Moderator: Mihir Kshirsagar, Princeton University



This event is co-hosted by the Center for Information Technology Policy (CITP) and the Center for the Study of Democratic Politics (CSDP).