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Contact: Kathryn Ryan, 914-740-2100, kryan@liebertpub.com
How Effective Are Personalized Political Ads on Facebook?

New Rochelle, NY, August 1, 2016—In this election year, political advertising on social networking sites such as Facebook is increasingly making use of personalized ads to target specific social media users. The effectiveness of online political microtargeting and the role of “persuasion knowledge” are examined in a new study published in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The article is available free on the Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking website until September 1, 2016.

Coauthors of the study Sanne Kruikemeier, Minem Sezgin, and Sophie Boerman, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands, found that compared to a regular Facebook post, a political personalized Facebook ad activated a voter's persuasion knowledge, making them less likely to share the information, but only when the person noticed the label identifying the ad as being “sponsored.” In the article, “Political Microtargeting: Relationship Between Personalized Advertising on Facebook and Voters' Responses,” the authors define persuasion knowledge as an individual’s personal beliefs and knowledge about the motives and tactics related to advertising.

“Current elections will now more than ever before be including microtargeting on social networking sites in their campaign strategies,” says Editor-in-Chief Brenda K. Wiederhold, PhD, MBA, BCB, BCN, Interactive Media Institute, San Diego, California and Virtual Reality Medical Institute, Brussels, Belgium. “Future studies on whether personalizing ads leads to more positive outcomes, such as mobilization of citizens to vote, or to more negative outcomes, such as avoiding political content, will give us even further information on this tactic.”

About the Journal

Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking is an authoritative peer-reviewed journal published monthly online with open access options and in print that explores the psychological and social issues surrounding the Internet and interactive technologies. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking is the official journal of the International Association of CyberPsychology, Training & Rehabilitation. Complete tables of contents and a sample issue may be viewed on the Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking website.

About the Publisher

Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers is a privately held, fully integrated media company known for establishing authoritative peer-reviewed journals in many promising areas of science and biomedical research, including Games for Health Journal, Telemedicine and e-Health, and Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology. Its biotechnology trade magazine, GEN (Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News), was the first in its field and is today the industry’s most widely read publication worldwide. A complete list of the firm’s 80 journals, books, and newsmagazines is available on the Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers website.