The Computational Propaganda Project

Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford

Computational Propaganda in Brazil: Social Bots During Elections

As part of our new country case study series, project member Dan Arnaudo investigated computational propaganda in Brazil. Abstract: Computational propaganda can take the form of automated accounts (bots) spreading information, algorithmic manipulation and the spread of fake news to shape public opinion, amongst other methods. These techniques are being used in combination with the…

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Facebook needs to be more open about its effect on democracy

A follow up opinion piece to the project’s most recent UK General Election memo was written by John Gallacher and Monica Kaminska, and published in the Guardian.   Facebook and Twitter fast became major electoral battlegrounds in the 2017 general election. It is here that campaigns had the potential to be won or lost. Young…

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Brexit bots and the UK election

Some of the automated Twitter accounts, or ‘bots’, that were among the most prolific during the UK’s EU referendum campaign have turned their attention to the UK general election, tweeting with increased frequency about Ukip and Labour. Our second UK General Election memo was covered by the FT. Read the rest in the Financial Times.  

Social Media and News Sources during the 2017 UK General Election

Platforms like Twitter and sources like Wikipedia are important parts of the information diet for many citizens. In this data memo, we analyse Twitter data on bot activity and junk news for a week in the final stages of campaigning of the 2017 UK General Election and also present data on Wikipedia page consultations about…

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The Most Important Lesson From the Dust-Up Over Trump’s Fake Twitter Followers

Project members Tim Hwang and Sam Woolley have a new article in Slate discussing bots that follow political candidates. Let’s be clear: Coordinated campaigns of misinformation and manipulation on social media are absolutely real and are becoming an increasingly prominent component of the online media landscape. A variety of state and nonstate actors are increasingly…

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One in eight Twitter election shares ‘link to junk news’

One in eight political stories shared on Twitter in the run-up to the general election is from a “junk news source”, research suggests. UK users shared one link from automated bot accounts promoting “junk” information for every four links to professionally produced news, according to the Oxford Internet Institute. Our UK General Election memo was…

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Labour dominating election conversation on Twitter, study finds

The Labour party dominates the conversation on Twitter, with almost 40% of tweets on election-related hashtags, according to a study by the Oxford Internet Institute about social media in the run-up to the general election. By contrast, tweets about the Conservative party made up just 26% of traffic, with the Scottish National party, Ukip and…

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Junk News and Bots during the 2017 UK General Election

Computational propaganda distributes large amounts of misinformation about politics and public policy over social media platforms. The combination of automation and propaganda can significantly impact public opinion 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 UK…

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How social media filter bubbles and algorithms influence the election

‘One of the most powerful players in the British election is also one of the most opaque. With just over two weeks to go until voters go to the polls, there are two things every election expert agrees on: what happens on social media, and Facebook in particular, will have an enormous effect on how the…

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Facebook could tell us how Russia interfered in our elections. Why won’t it?

Team members Phil Howard and Robert Gorwa wrote an op-ed for the Washington Post which calls on Facebook to share important data on potential Russian interference in the 2016 US election, and touches on the importance of not just studying ‘fake news’, but also fake accounts and other false amplifiers. Read the full piece @ the Washington Post.

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