Online Political Advertising and Microtargeting: The Latest Legal, Ethical, Political and Technological Evolutions

Webinar Series Report, 15 and 18 June 2020
This publication is only available in electronic format
16 December 2020

Electoral campaigns are central to influencing how people vote and can also affect people’s perception of the legitimacy of a country’s elections and democracy in general.

Today, political parties and other stakeholders are increasingly using new online techniques in electoral campaigns. Many countries struggle with applying regulatory frameworks on elections to the online sphere, especially as regards online political advertising and microtargeting.

This Event Report provides an overview of the issues at stake and recommendations from two roundtables on online political advertising and microtargeting that were organized by International IDEA in June 2020, in collaboration with the European Commission and the Dutch Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations. It covers topics such as what sets online campaigning apart from traditional campaigning, the rights and freedoms potentially affected by the use of digital microtargeting and online campaigning, gaps in current regulations, and division and coordination of oversight roles both domestically and internationally.


Executive summary

1. Introduction

2. Understanding the opportunities and risks 

3. Responses by the European Union

4. Responses by the Council of Europe

5. Developing regulatory frameworks

6. Enhancing oversight

7. Conclusion

National and EU guidance and tools


Resources and further reading

Annex A. Programme

About International IDEA 

Related Content

three persons sitting at table displaying publications

Leena Rikkila Tamang, Regional Director together with Adhy Aman, Senior Programme Manager for Asia and the Pacific, shares the report with Hon. Lenora Qereqeretabua, Deputy Speaker of the Parliament of Fiji. Image credit: Rajan Murti/International IDEA.

News Article
Rescure team members stands behind a collappsed bulding after eathquake

Image credit: EU Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid@flickr