The Computational Propaganda Project

Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford

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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Social media ‘bots’ tried to influence the U.S. election. Germany may be next.

Lisa-Maria Neudert was interviewed for this Science Magazine story on bots and the German election. Germany seemed a good place to try. The German parliament’s network was hacked in 2015—Russia is said to be the prime suspect—leading to worries that stolen emails might be published strategically to affect the election. (In France’s presidential election this…

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How Do You Fix Someone Else’s Election?

Sam Woolley was interviewed on BBC radio to discuss the project’s research and the use of bots for election meddling. Smears, bots and bags of cash – we reveal some of the tricks used for fiddling elections around the world. German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s security chiefs say Russian intelligence is actively trying to influence next month’s…

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Hey politicians — don’t hate the internet, hate the game

Project members Sam Woolley and Nick Monaco wrote an opinion piece about bot regulation for TechCrunch. Policymakers’ animus against the internet isn’t new: it’s part of a long trend of suspicion about this medium that challenges all media. Their feelings toward regulation of the web are often muddied by broader trends of political ambivalence toward the actual…

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Fake News Bots Are Here

Project member Sam Woolley was interviewed about bots and the 2016 US Election on NPR. How do you judge public opinion on any given issue? What others are thinking? Paying attention to? If social media play into your read, watch out. When it comes to politics in particular, social media can be overrun with, twisted…

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Decades Later, Governments Still Wary of Social Media

Project member Gillian Bolsover contributed to this story published by the Voice of America. When the dust settled, Iran published social media photos of protesters on a pro-Ahmadinejad website and circled their faces in red “in an attempt to identify individuals who participated in the protests,” said researcher Gillian Bolsover of the Oxford Internet Institute at the…

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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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Digging up facts about fake news: The Computational Propaganda Project

Our project work was covered by the OECD. The phenomenon of junk news and its dissemination over social media platforms have transformed (some say destroyed) political debates. The combination of automation and propaganda, also called computational propaganda, can shape public opinion. The trouble is, how can we tell the difference between fake facts and real…

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We the…Bots & Trolls

Project member Nick Monaco was interviewed on PBS about his Taiwanese case study. Find the full video here.

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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