Opendata, web and dolomites


ALgorithms EXposed. Investigating Automated Personalization and Filtering for Research and Activism

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 ALEX project word cloud

Explore the words cloud of the ALEX project. It provides you a very rough idea of what is the project "ALEX" about.

diets    audit    expert    sharing    mediate    monitor    data    companies    proprietary    algorithmic    analytica    possibilities    activism    seat    exposed    analyze    consultancy    pursue    software    fbtrex    goals    publicly    biases    twitter    citizen    opinions    building    core    rumors    industry    spin    empowerment    social    media    hardly    platform    themselves    unmasking    outcomes    tool    few    business    rely    inaccessible    feed    adapting    ultimately    content    filtering    version    words    extension    feasibility    customized    browser    infringe    literacy    prototype    off    silently    forging    driver    stabilization    basis    someone    realitycheck    shape    google    personalization    scalable    release    scandal    fail    analyzing    modules    put    uses    questionable    agency    alpha    consumption    profile    models    organization    practices    news    algorithms    facebook    individual    tracking    functioning    patterns    service    launch    platforms    experiments    restricting    web    sustainability    alex    cambridge    auditing   

Project "ALEX" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
address: SPUI 21
postcode: 1012WX

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Netherlands [NL]
 Total cost 149˙922 €
 EC max contribution 149˙922 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2018-PoC
 Funding Scheme ERC-POC
 Starting year 2018
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2018-12-01   to  2020-02-29


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 


 Project objective

Personalization algorithms—filtering content on the basis of someone's profile—increasingly mediate the web experience of users. By forging a specific reality for each individual, they silently shape customized 'information diets': in other words, they determine which news, opinions and rumors users are exposed to. Restricting users’ possibilities, they ultimately infringe on their agency. As exposed by the recent Cambridge Analytica scandal, they are supported by questionable data sharing practices at the core of the business models of the social media industry. Yet, personalization algorithms are proprietary and thus remain inaccessible to end users. The few experiments auditing these algorithms rely on data provided by platform companies themselves. They are highly technical, hardly scalable, and fail to put social media users in the driver seat. The ALgorithms EXposed (ALEX) project aims at unmasking the functioning of personalization algorithms on social media platforms, taking Facebook as a test case. It is 'data activism' in practice, as it uses publicly available data for awareness raising and citizen empowerment. ALEX will pursue five goals: 1) software development and stabilization, building on the alpha version of (fbtrex), a working prototype of a browser extension analyzing the outcomes of Facebook's News Feed algorithms; 2) the release of two spin-off products building on fbtrex, namely AudIT, enabling researchers to do expert analysis on algorithmic biases, and RealityCheck, allowing users to monitor their own social media consumption patterns; 3) testing the technical feasibility of adapting the ALEX approach to analyze algorithmic personalization on other platforms such as Twitter and Google; 4) the design and organization of data literacy modules on algorithmic personalization, and 5) the launch of a consultancy service to promote tool take-up and the future sustainability of the project.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2020 Nina Altmaier, Davide Beraldo, Maria Castaldo, Daniel Jurg, Salvatore Romano, Matteo Renoldi, Tatiana Smirnova, Natacha Seweryn, Luukas Veivo
YouTube Tracking Exposed: Investigating polarization via YouTube ’s Recommender Systems
published pages: , ISSN: , DOI:
Digital Methods Winter School 2020 Proceedings 2020-03-05
2020 Deirdre Murphy, Margaux Reynders, Joana Stockmeyer, Romane Donadini
Is the Same Everywhere? A Regional Comparison of Product Diversity on in California and Missouri.
published pages: , ISSN: , DOI:
Digital Methods Winter School 2020 Proceedings 2020-03-05
2020 Nicol Cheung, Paul Dunshirn, Qianyu Feng, Ziyi Liu, Josh McDonald, Bryan Steffen, Zoe Tang
Does Amazon know your wealth? Tracking perceived purchase power and algorithmic bias on
published pages: , ISSN: , DOI:
Digital Methods Winter School 2020 Proceedings 2020-03-05
2020 Alicja Zak, Elise Olthof, Dimitri Koehorst, Ola Bonati, Zdzich Heydel, Aymann Khatib
Amazon’s Choice. An inquiry into Amazon’s Algorithms
published pages: , ISSN: , DOI:
Digital Methods Winder School 2020 Proceedings 2020-03-05
2020 Urbano Reviglio, Claudio Agosti
Thinking Outside the Black-Box: The Case for ‘Algorithmic Sovereignty’ in Social Media
published pages: , ISSN: 2056-3051, DOI:
Social Media + Society 2020 2020-03-05
2020 Hailey Beaman, Tommaso Campagna, Aikaterini Mniestri, Giovanni Rossetti, Xiao Wang, Romain Durand
Tracking Gender Bias in Amazon Search Results. Ingrained biases & algorithmic complexities
published pages: , ISSN: , DOI:
Digital Methods Winter School 2020 Proceedings 2020-03-05
2020 Cem Akca, Alexander Bernevega, Shivani Gore, Boy Singmanee & Yonathan Tesfai
Choose Your Price: Windows 10 vs. macOS. Examining price discrimination among dierent operating systems
published pages: , ISSN: , DOI:
Digital Methods Winter School 2020 Proceedings 2020-03-05
2019 Davide Beraldo, Stefania Milan
From data politics to the contentious politics of data
published pages: 205395171988596, ISSN: 2053-9517, DOI: 10.1177/2053951719885967
Big Data & Society 6/2 2019-11-22
2019 Jeroen de Vos
Spotting Sharks: ALEX’s Competitor analysis
published pages: , ISSN: 2666-0733, DOI:
DATACTIVE Working Paper Series 2/2019 2019-10-29
2019 Stefania Milan, Claudio Agosti
Personalisation algorithms and elections: breaking free of the filter bubble
published pages: , ISSN: , DOI:
Internet Policy Review: Journal of Internet Regulation 2019-10-29
2019 Davide Beraldo
Does Facebook’s NewsFeed Algorithm Reinforce Filter Bubbles? An Experimental Methodology Using fbtrex
published pages: , ISSN: , DOI:
ALEX Working Paper Series 1/2019 2019-10-29
2019 Claudio Agosti, Davide Beraldo, Stefano Calzati, Zoé Charpentier, SeongIn Choi, Luca Del Fabbro, Anja Groten, Concetta La Mattina, Salvatore Romano, Giovanni Rossetti, Laura Swietlicki, Jeroen de Vos
Algorithms exposed: Investigating Youtube personalization with yTREX
published pages: , ISSN: , DOI:
Digital Methods Summer School 2019 2019-10-29
2019 Giovanni Rossetti, Bilel Benbouzid, Davide Beraldo, Giulia Corona, Leonardo Sanna, Iain Emsley, Fatma Yalgin, Hannah Vischer, Victor Pak, Mathilde Simon, Victor Bouwmeester, Yao Chen, Sophia Melanson, Hanna Jemmer, Patrick Kapsch, Claudio Agosti, Jeroen de Vos
Facebook Algorithm Exposed. Or, how to keep your bot alive
published pages: , ISSN: , DOI:
Digital Methods Winter School and Data Sprint 2019 2019-10-29

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