By: Jeff Chester | Nov 16 2022
Under intensifying pressure from Congress and the public, top social media platforms popular with young people – Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, Twitch, and YouTube – have launched dozens of new safety features for children and teens in the last year, according to a report from the Center for Digital Democracy (CDD). Researchers at CDD conducted an analysis of tech industry strategies to head off regulation in the wake of the 2021 Facebook whistleblower revelations and the rising tide of public criticism, Congressional hearings, and pressures from abroad.
May 12 2021
The coronavirus pandemic triggered a dramatic increase in online use. Children and teens whose schools have closed relied on YouTube for educational videos, attending virtual classes on Zoom and Google Classroom, and flocking to TikTok, Snapchat, and Instagram for entertainment and social interaction. This constant immersion in digital culture has exposed them to a steady flow of marketing for fast foods, soft drinks, and other unhealthy products, much of it under the radar of parents and teachers.
By: Kathryn C. Montgomery, Jeff Chester, and Katharina Kopp | Sep 10 2020
TikTok (also known by its Chinese name, Dǒuyīn) has quickly captured the interest of children, adolescents, and young adults in 150 countries around the world. The mobile app enables users to create short video clips, customize them with a panoply of user-friendly special effects tools, and then share them widely through the platform’s vast social network.
Jul 16 2020
By: Kathryn Montgomery and Jeff Chester | Jan 16 2020
In March 2018, The New York Times and The Guardian/Observer broke an explosive story that Cambridge Analytica, a British data firm, had harvested more than 50 million Facebook profiles and used them to engage in psychometric targeting during the 2016 US presidential election (Rosenberg, Confessore, & Cadwalladr, 2018). The scandal erupted amid ongoing concerns over Russian use of social media to interfere in the electoral process.
Sep 9 2018
Online political misinformation and false news have already resurfaced in the 2018 midterm elections. CDD has produced a short e-guide to help voters understand how online media platforms can be hijacked to fan political polarization and social conflict. Enough Already!
Sep 1 2018
By: Jeff Chester | Jan 20 2018
Computational politics—the application of digital targeted-marketing technologies to election campaigns in the US and elsewhere—are now raising the same concerns for democratic discourse and governance that they have long raised for consumer privacy and welfare in the commercial marketplace. This paper examines the digital strategies and technologies of today’s political operations, explaining how they were employed during the most recent US election cycle, and exploring the implications of their continued use in the civic context.
By: Kathryn Montgomery, Jeff Chester, Katharina Kopp | Aug 29 2017
By: Staff | Jan 18 2017
This report examines trends in digital marketing to youth that uses "immersive" techniques, social media, behavioral profiling, location targeting and mobile marketing, and neuroscience methods. Recommends principles for regulating inappropriate advertising to youth.
By: Jeff Chester | Jun 6 1996
CDD's predecessor group, Center for Media Education, released this report in 1996. It played a key role generating support, at the FTC and in Congress, to enact the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act in 1998 (COPPA).