The Computational Propaganda Project

Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford

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Phil Howard on Danish Television

Project PI Phil Howard appeared on DR, the Danish TV station, to discuss some of the project’s latest research. The full episode is available here [interview begins in the second half of the programme].    

Philip N. Howard

Principal Investigator Philip N. Howard is a professor and writer. He has written numerous empirical research articles, and published in a number of disciplines, on the use of digital media for both civic engagement and social control in countries around the world. He is a statutory Professor of Internet Studies at the Oxford Internet Institute…

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Junk News and Bots during the German Parliamentary Election: What are German Voters Sharing over Twitter?

Automation and propaganda can significantly impact public life during important policy debates, elections, and political crises. We collected Twitter data on bot activity and junk news using a set of hashtags related to the 2017 German Parliamentary Election for a ten-day period in September 2017. We find that (1) traffic about the far-right Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) accounts…

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Data

Our research articles, working papers and data memos involve several kinds of data sets. We are currently rolling out replication data for our papers and research memos. Philip N. Howard, Gillian Bolsover, Bence Kollanyi, Samantha Bradshaw, Lisa-Maria Neudert.  “Junk News and Bots during the U.S. Election: What Were Michigan Voters Sharing Over Twitter?” Data Memo 2017.1….

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What Facebook Knows

The project’s research and writing was discussed in Vice News. To answer these questions conclusively, academic researchers have said that Facebook could very easily clear the air by releasing more of its data. But just as the company keeps its algorithm under wraps, the company has thus far declined to share broad data about the…

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Spreading fake news becomes standard practice for governments across the world

The project’s research on government-sponsored social media manipulation was covered in the Washington Post. These propaganda efforts exploit every social media platform — Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and beyond — and rely on human users and computerized “bots” that can dramatically amplify the power of disinformation campaigns by automating the process of preparing and delivering posts….

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Please Prove You’re Not a Robot

The project’s research was featured in a New York Times column written by Tim Wu. Robots posing as people have become a menace. For popular Broadway shows (need we say “Hamilton”?), it is actually bots, not humans, who do much and maybe most of the ticket buying. Shows sell out immediately, and the middlemen (quite…

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Troops, Trolls and Troublemakers: A Global Inventory of Organized Social Media Manipulation

Cyber troops are government, military or political party teams committed to manipulating public opinion over social media. In this working paper, we report on specific organizations created, often 8ith public money, to help define and manage what is in the best interest of the public. We compare such organizations across 28 countries, and inventory them…

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How Bots Win Friends and Influence People

Project PI Phil Howard was interviewed for a short article in IEEE Spectrum. Every now and then sociologist Phil Howard writes messages to social media accounts accusing them of being bots. It’s like a Turing test of the state of online political propaganda. “Once in a while a human will come out and say, ‘I’m not a…

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Computational Propaganda Worldwide: Executive Summary

We’re very excited to announce the launch of our case study series on computational propaganda in 9 different countries. Find the executive summary, written by Sam Woolley and Phil Howard, here. The Computational Propaganda Research Project at the Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford, has researched the use of social media for public opinion manipulation. The…

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