Advertising is the most important source of income for digital platforms like Google, Facebook, YouTube or Twitter. In 2018, To support (and boost) this activity platforms provide a knowledge base with various tools and metrics designed for advertisers and digital marketing professionals.

In this investigation this knowledge ecosystem is referred as digital marketing epistemology. In line with the tradition in Science and Technology Studies (STS) for tracing processes of knowledge production, this conceptualization captures not only the methods and data provided by platforms such as Google but also the assumptions that guide the practices of digital marketing professionals and the context in which these practices occur.

Explores if digital marketing tools can be helpful in mapping controversial issues

This work in progress investigation attempts to repurpose the set of methods and premises that frame digital marketing operations for social research (following Rogers 2013). And, specifically, explores if digital marketing tools can be helpful in mapping controversial issues. Transnational surrogacy provides a case in point for how socially and politically salient practices and norms are enabled and constrained by Google Ads, giving rise to new “subversive practices” (Adrian, 2014) where clinics, egg banks, law firms, parents, different forms of clinical labor, associations, in collaboration with Google challenge established legal and ethical boundaries.

Bio Òscar Coromina

Òscar Coromina is senior lecturer at Malmö University and member of the Department of Computer Science and Media Technology. His research draws from Digital Methods to study platforms and the consequences of platformization in society. From 2009 to 2020 he was lecturing at the Autonomous University of Barcelona and also has a background as digital marketing practitioner.