The Computational Propaganda Project

Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford

Review: Pax Technica, by Philip Howard

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 commercial ones — is both striking and convincing. Nearly 30 years…

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Bring on the Bots

 (This originally appeared as “Bring on the Bots” on Civicist) Bots—particularly bots on social media—can’t seem to catch a break in the news lately. First, the Block Bot, a program designed to help Twitter users weed-out disliked content and people, simultaneously fell afoul of Richard Dawkins, members of the conservative press, and legal pundits. Next, an…

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CHI ’15 Presentation

Graduate Researcher Norah Abokhodair gave a presentation in South Korea on her planned dissertation research at CHI ’15 entitled “Transmigrant Saudi Arabian Youth and Social Media: Privacy, Intimacy and Freedom of Expression.”  The  submission was published in the Proceedings of the 33rd Annual ACM Conference Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems and  is available…

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Presentation at CSCW ’15

Project Researcher Norah Abokhodair, Co-PI David McDonald, and their colleague Daisy Yoo presented and published work entitled “Dissecting a Social Botnet: Growth, Content and Influence on Twitter” at CSCW ’15 in Vancouver, BC. The full text of the piece is available here. Abstract: Social botnets have become an important phenomenon on social media. There are…

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The Myth of Violent Online Extremism

This originally appeared on the Yale Books blog. The responsibility of social and digital networks in combating terrorism has come under particular scrutiny since the Charlie Hebdo attacks of January 2015. Philip N. Howard, Pax Technica author and commentator on the important relationship between politics and technology joins the debate, calling for a reassessment of current thinking…

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Why the Internet Should Be a Public Resource

The excitement of this year’s CES—the enormous technology show and tell event that just ended in Las Vegas—was about the “internet of things.” Stoves and baby bottles will soon be smart, and the devices you already have will be smarter. Behind closed doors and in private chat rooms, the industry buzz was over rumors that…

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Pax Technica: How the Internet of Things May Set Us Free or Lock Us Up

Should we fear or welcome the internet’s evolution? The “internet of things” is the rapidly growing network of everyday objects—eyeglasses, cars, thermostats—made smart with sensors and internet addresses. Soon we will live in a pervasive yet invisible network of everyday objects that communicate with one another. In this original and provocative book, Philip N. Howard…

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Bad News Bots: How Civil Society Can Combat Automated Online Propaganda

It’s no secret that governments and political actors now make use of social robots or bots—automated scripts that produce content and mimic real users. Faux social media accounts now spread pro-governmental messages, beef up web site follower numbers, and causeartificial trends. Bot-generated propaganda and misdirection has become a worldwide political strategy. Robotic lobbying tactics have…

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Presentation at the NCA 100th Anniversary Conference

Project Manager Samuel Woolley gave a presentation entitled “The Project on Computational Propaganda: A Typology of Bot Technology, Alogrithmic Culture, and Political Contention” in the Freedom of Expression Division at the 100th anniversary meeting of the National Communication Association in Chicago.

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