Fabio Votta

Political Data Scientist | Statistical Analysis

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More Publications

. Going Micro to Go Negative? Targeting Toxicity using Facebook and Instagram Ads. Computational Communication Research, Volume 5, Issue 1, Feb 2023, p. 1 - 50 doi.org/10.5117/CCR2023.1.001.VOTT, 2023.


. Electoral and religious correlates of COVID-19 vaccination rates in Dutch municipalities. European Journal of Public Health. 2022 Nov 29;32(6):985-987. doi: 10.1093/eurpub/ckac112, 2022.

. Fifteen Seconds of Fame: TikTok and the Supply Side of Social Video. Computational Communication Research, Volume 4, Issue 2, Oct 2022, p. 463 - 485 doi.org/10.5117/CCR2022.2.004.GUIN, 2022.


. The Polls—Trends: Trends in Public Opinion toward Immigration among EU Member States. Public Opinion Quarterly, Volume 86, Issue 1, Spring 2022, Pages 191–215, doi: 10.1093/poq/nfac001, 2022.

. Recommender systems and the amplification of extremist content. Internet Policy Review, 10(2). doi: doi:10.147632021.2.1565, 2021.


Targeting Dashboards

Here I present dashboards that I created in collaboration with Who Targets Me to show the (micro-)targeting strategies during a selected number of national and regional elections. Typically you can see spending and target audiences used by political parties and candidates.

R Packages

  • peRspective - Perspective is an API that uses machine learning models to score the perceived impact a comment might have on a conversation. The package provides access to the API using the R programming language.

  • metatargetr - The goal of metatargetr is to parse targeting information from the Meta Ad Targeting dataset as well as retrieve data from the Audience tab in the Meta Ad Library.

  • untruthr - The goal of untruthr is to provide access to the social networking website Truth Social.

  • appendornot - The goal of appendornot is to provide easy access to writing and appending csv or text files.

  • rmdprotectr - The goal of rmdprotectr is to password protect Rmarkdown HTML documents.

  • wtmapi - The goal of wtmapi is to provide access to the public data API of Who Targets Me.

  • datenguideR - R wrapper for the datengui.de GraphQL API to easily access German regional statistics.

  • dialektversum - Translate German into: Swabian, Saxonian, Bavarian, Hessian, Berlinerisch and Plattdeutsch.


APSA ITP Best Journal Article Award 2023

  • This award is given to best article published in Information Technology and Politics (ITP) published in 2022. The awarded paper can be found here.

Best Paper Award in Political Communication at ICA 2023

  • This award is given to the best paper presented in the Political Communication division at the International Communication Association (ICA) annual conference in Toronto 2023. The awarded paper is: Algorithmic Microtargeting? Testing the Influence of the Meta Ad Delivery Algorithm.

Naomi C. Turner Prize 2018

  • This prize is awarded for the best paper presented by a graduate student at the World Association for Public Opinion (WAPOR) annual conference in Marrakesh 2018. Find the paper here.

Recent Posts

More Posts

How the ad delivery algorithm may affect the distribution of political ads.


Discover how Dutch political parties used digital platforms to target you.


Short answer: very common.


The moment on Twitter when Derek Chauvin was found guilty on all counts.


This blog post introduces the transcripts of the U.S. Democratic primary debates available as data in the R package demdebates2020.



A fun Introduction to R

Slides for workshop I taught during the Data Science Summer School at the Hertie School.

The Infodemic on Instagram

This page visualizes 14,259 images posted on Instagram between January and September 2020.

Slides: Hacking Germany’s Official Statistics with datenguideR

These slides were presented at the berlinR Meetup group.

Slides: Package Development in R

These slides were presented at the Kickoff workshop for the Datenguide project (organized by Correlaid).

Slides: Personalisation Algorithms and Extremist Content Online

These slides were presented at the Terrorism and Social Media Conference 2019 at Swansea University.

Blog Post: Retaliatory Tariffs and Trump’s Base

A blog post for Data for Progress analyzing how retaliatory tariffs are hurting Trump’s base specifically.

Visualizing Gas Explosions in Lawrence, MA

This is a little project where I visualize the gas explosions that rocked Lawrence, MA on 13th September 2018.

Slides: Deliberation Across the World

These slides were presented at the WAPOR general conference in June 2018. The paper investigates the effect of deliberative quality of a political system on regime legitimacy in 119 countries and received the best student paper award (Naomi C. Turner Prize) at the WAPOR 2018 general conference.

Slides: Godly Governance

These slides were presented at the WAPOR general conference in June 2018. The paper investigates the role of religiosity in supporting religious governance in the MENA region.

Slides: Variants of Populism

These slides were presented at the Politicologenetmaal conference in June 2018. This research is about the support for populism in Europe.

Slides: Decoding the Alt-Right

These slides were presented at a VOX-Pol counter-extremism workshop in May 2018. The research project is about tracking the Alt-Right and its spread into mainstream media.

LearnR - Modelldiagnostik

Die Modelldiagnostik dient dazu die Validität und Reliabilität der Ergebnisse einer linearen Regression sicherzustellen. In diesem Workshop lernt ihr die Grundkonzepte, deren Anwendung sowie Interpretation und Visualisierung.

Teaching Experience

Between 2017 and 2020, led the R-User Group Stuttgart and taught multiple workshops:

  • Introduction to R

  • Introduction to Linear Regression

  • How to perform Diagnostics for Linear Regression

  • Introduction to Multilevel Regression

  • Intorduction to Computational Social Science

Winter Semester 201819 and Summer Semester 2019:

  • Master course tutorial to the accompanying lecture “Statistical Modeling II” at the University of Stuttgart which covered advanced statistical models like multilevel regression

April 2020:

  • Workshop on how create R packages for Correlaid

November 2020:

  • Workshop on data visualization at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

July 2021 and July 2022

  • “Introduction to R” course for the Data Science Summer School at the Hertie School (Berlin)

March 2022

  • Workshop on how to use multilevel regression in R at PhD Club (University of Amsterdam)

June 2022

  • 2-day workshop “Intoduction to Quantitative Text Analysis” at the University of Warwick