Predicting voters, The significant role of personal data for political communication in Switzerland's social networks
Social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and others are becoming increasingly important and enable novel approaches for political communication. Simultaneously, the misuse of personal data is of rising concern for many policymakers worldwide. The October 2019 votes showed that Swiss parties increasingly use personal data to target their campaigns. Data about potential voters enables the creation of specific target groups through psychological analysis. Known as Microtargeting, this technique tries to predict the reaction of a voter towards an advert to create adverts of higher acceptance. This personalization prevents the comparison of information while isolating the citizens. It promotes the polarization of opinions and prevents democratic consensus-building. In my studies, I developed a research plan that investigates how Swiss parties collect personal data for the prediction of voter behavior, how this influences their advertisement, and with whom they collaborate in this process.