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Dark Ads Transparency Project

Focus Area(s): News & Media
Research Program: Data

The use of custom targeted advertising, known as ‘dark ads’ poses a host of potential social harms, from the re-introduction of historical forms of discriminating (targeting job or housing ads by race, for example, or job ads by race or gender, and so on); to the propagation of racist or gender stereotyping, to the spread of false and harmful information. The advertising environment is fundamentally transformed by the rise of dark ads, which continue the trend away from mass advertising, which was available to large audiences and thus subject to public scrutiny.

Our researchers have partnered with AlgorithmWatch to develop novel approaches for addressing the challenges posed by ‘dark ads’. This project aims to develop strategies for addressing the potential harms posed by ‘dark ads’ and provide accountability and transparency mechanisms for targeted advertising. This project will deliver modelling of real-world strategies for providing visibility into how targeting takes place and what its results are and develop recommendations for regulatory response to online ad targeting.


Mark Andrejevic

Prof Mark Andrejevic

Lead Investigator

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ADM+S Associate Director Jean Burgess

Prof Jean Burgess

Chief Investigator

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Daniel Angus

Prof Daniel Angus

Associate Investigator

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ADM+S Investigator Timothy Graham

Dr Timothy Graham

Associate Investigator

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Australian Broadcasting Corporation

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