New Publication: Understanding Digital Campaign Competence


Sophie Minihold together with her Co-Authors published the paper "Understanding Digital Campaign Competence: Conceptualizing Data-Driven Political Advertising Literacy" in Mass Communication and Society.

Full Article.

Technological advancements create new ways of informing and persuading citizens in the political advertising context. Insights are limited regarding how citizens deal with data-driven political advertising (DDPA). This is problematic because the collection and combination of large amounts of data render them vulnerable to information and power asymmetries. Using multidisciplinary perspectives, this article discusses the digital campaign competence of voters. We look at the interplay of literacy components, offer a typology, and predict campaign behavior, such as ad engagement and ad avoidance. We use data from a multiple-wave panel survey (NW1 = 1914, NW3 = 1303) conducted during the 2021 German federal elections. A latent profile analysis reveals five voter profiles with varying levels of DDPA literacy (i.e. conceptual understanding and evaluative perceptions). People mostly evaluate DDPA as neutral or negative, highly differ in their level of objective conceptual understanding, and underestimate the effectiveness of DDPA. We find no differences between the five profiles in their ad engagement but find differences concerning ad avoidance. The results deepen our understanding of a digitally campaign-competent electorate and highlight areas in which citizen empowerment is needed in light of the inequalities that DDPA has produced.