“Spotting Sharks”: new Working Paper by Jeroen de Vos

We are happy to announce the ALEX’s Competitor analysis, published as part of the DATACTIVE Working Paper Series, by Jeroen de Vos:

Vos, J. de (2019) “Spotting Sharks: ALEX’s Competitor analysis”, DATACTIVE Working paper series, No 2/2019 ISSN: 2666-0733.


This paper summarizes the output of the competitor analysis for fbTREX conducted as part of the market research for the project Algorithms Exposed (ALEX). fbTREX is a browser plugin that allows harvesting publicly available data on the users Facebook timeline, and its development is currently hosted by the Algorithms Exposed initiative – an effort to facilitate repurposing personal social media data to allow the scaling of systematic empirical inquiry for academic, educational or journalistic purposes. The desk research is enhanced by several interviews and aims to: 1) create initial insights into existing potentially competing organisations; 2) analyse market potential present in a specific field; 3) situate the current understanding of fbTREX in the context of bringing a product to market; and 4) and help prioritize the next step. This research should be read as an intermediate product, which can provide valuable insights to both partners and competitors. Algorithm Exposed is funded by the ERC Proof of Concept grant [grant agreement number 825974].

About Algorithms Exposed
ALEX, a short-cut for “Algorithms Exposed. Investigating Automated Personalization and Filtering for Research and Activism”, aims at unmasking the functioning of personalization algorithms on social media platforms. From an original idea of lead developer Claudio Agosti, ALEX marks the engagement of DATACTIVE with “data activism in practice”—that is to say, turning data into a point of intervention in society. Link to the website.

About the DATACTIVE working paper series
The DATACTIVE Working Paper Series presents results of the DATACTIVE research project. The series aims to disseminate the results of their research to a wider audience. An editorial committee consisting of the DATACTIVE PI and Postdoctoral fellows reviews the quality of the Working Papers. The Series aims to disseminate research results in an accessible manner to a wider audience. Readers are encouraged to provide the authors with feedback and/or questions.