Influence Government

Influence Government

Research into the practices and impacts of government use of online targeted advertising for behavioural change

Our first major report on the study funded by the Scottish Institute for Policing Research and conducted in partnership with Police Scotland has been published today. This report give in detail insights in to the was Police Scotland is use of targeted digital communications for crime prevention,  and explores the ‘influence’ approaches across the UK […]

The entire online advertising market has been shifting towards  the use of online’ influencers’ as a way of targeting their audiences. Government and public sector influence also uses this technique. In the UK the Advertising Standards Authority has been clamping down on this sort of advertising being done without a notice is is a paid […]

There are a number of ethical issues which we believe emerging from public sector, and in particular police use of online targeted advertising techniques, and which we argue will be central concerns for any future incorporation of them into democratic policing in the UK. It is important to note that police communications is not new, […]

The report we authored to be published by the Scottish Institute Policing Research on Monday 21st  August 2023  has received advance coverage in a number of newspapers Shanti Das at the Observer  on Sunday 12th August 2023 ran Government targeting UK minorities with social media ads despite Facebook ban   Lizzie Dearden at the Independent  […]

Abridged from the forthcoming paper in First Monday   The Meta Ad library in the UK contains what is currently the most comprehensive library of adverts delivered and funded by governmental organisations in the UK.  Unlike other  countries, the Meta Ad Library for the UK is well populated with public sector ads, due to much […]

In the Autumn of 2021 we ran two workshops – An academic networking workshop, with the following attendees Katja Andric University of Edinburgh Christian Eichenmüller Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Elif Buse Doyuran University of Edinburgh Pip Thornton University of Edinburgh Kristy Docherty University of Edinburgh Sophie Taylor University of Edinburgh/ODI Lydia Wilson University of Cambridge Megan O’Neill University […]

We have our first publication on more general use of targeted advertsing by the UK state published in Big Data and Society! Collier B, Flynn G, Stewart J, et al. (2022) Influence government: Exploring practices, ethics, and power in the use of targeted advertising by the UK state. Big Data & Society 9(1). SAGE Publications […]

The team received funding from the Scottish Institute for Policing Research (SIPR) for a research project exploring    “Influence policing – mapping the links between preventive policing and new media”. The project, which will run until 2023 is coordinated from Strathclyde University, with partners at Edinburgh.   The Project Goals  are:   We propose a […]


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