The Computational Propaganda Project

Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford

The Good, Bad, and Ugly of the World of Bots, and the Journalistic Implications of Using Them

The project’s research was covered by the Nieman Lab.

Bot or not? Vice’s Motherboard has a piece up today — a “botifesto,” if you will (or if you must) — that gives a comprehensive rundown of just how useful, harmful, and ultimately inescapable bots are to our digital lives.

Bots, “[g]enerally speaking these sets of algorithms are responsible for so much on the backend of the Internet,” are used everywhere from sharing up-to-date information on earthquakes to launching a DDoS attack on a news site following publication of an important cover story. They deliver information in Slack, sharing breaking news or helping human editors decide which stories will likely take off on social media. The New York Times’ Election Bot is even helping send 2016 presidential election questions straight to the newsroom.

Read the full article here.

Nieman LabSamuel C. Woolley

Phil Howard • 26th February 2016


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