The Computational Propaganda Project

Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford

Beware the Brexit bots: The Twitter spam out to swing your vote

The project’s research into the Brexit referendum was covered in the New Scientist. Watch out for the ballot bots. As the UK’s referendum on membership of the European Union draws near, researchers are increasingly concerned about automated social media accounts that might be trying to sway the vote. Philip Howard at Oxford University and Bence…

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A $1 Million Fight Against Hillary Clinton’s Online Trolls

The project’s research into the 2016 US election was covered in the Atlantic. Misinformation can easily take hold online, and spread quickly in the echo chambers of social media. There is certainly no shortage of false information circulating about Clinton online. It’s not hard to see why sinking money into an effort to seek out…

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The Impact of Social Media on Political Debate (in Dutch)

The project’s research was featured in the Dutch Newspaper de Volskskrant. Sociale media en politiek activisme: even bracht het democratie 2.0 voort. Via de digitale weg bleken politici als Alexander Pechtold en Frans Timmermans plots bereikbaar voor de gewone man. Meer dan eens zijn massaprotesten en zelfs revoluties gefaciliteerd door Facebook en Twitter. Maar er…

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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…

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5 Countries That Use Bots to Spread Political Propaganda

The project’s research was covered by Tech Insider. More recently, bots are being used by governments mimic social media users and manipulate public opinion. In 2015, more than 40 countries deployed political bots, says Samuel Woolley, a PhD candidate at the University of Washington. His team has logged more than 100 cases of bots designed to sway elections, pad follower counts, or…

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More than 26 million people have changed their Facebook picture to a rainbow flag. Here’s why that matters.

Phil Howard was featured in a Washington Post story on digital activism. “Profile picture campaigns are effective in showing the friends and family in your social network that you have some affinity for a political candidate or cause,” said Philip Howard, a sociologist at the University of Washington and the director of the Digital Activism…

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Review: Pax Technica in the FT

Phil Howard’s book, Pax Technica, was reviewed in the Financial Times. The subject of this book — the emerging “internet of things” — could not be more timely and important; and its central premise — that this new stage in the evolution of the web has political implications that will match or even outstrip its…

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Millennials and the Age of Tumblr Activism

Phil Howard was featured in a New York Times story about online activism. The cyber social-justice movement is always brewing on Tumblr, and it picks up steam when shocking news hits the country or when protests take place offline. On Dec. 4, when a jury decided not to indict in the Eric Garner case, Tumblr…

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