The Computational Propaganda Project

Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford

Junk news and democracy

Monica Kaminska appeared on the BBC to discuss the project’s research into the 2017 UK Election. Researchers at Oxford University have found that the quality of news available to British voters on Twitter is superior to that available to Americans ahead of the election of Donald Trump as president. The Oxford Internet Institute has also discovered…

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

Our project work was covered by the BBC. 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…

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Labour dominating election conversation on Twitter, study finds

The project’s work on the 2017 UK election was covered by the Guardian. 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…

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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

Our project work was featured extensively in a Guardian article about the British 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…

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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 in the Washington Post.

‘Bots’ spam FCC website over proposed net neutrality reversal

Our Principal Investigator Phil Howard was featured in a BBC story on Net Neutrality. Bots appear to be spamming a US regulator’s website over a proposed reversal of net neutrality rules, researchers have said. “Net neutrality is such a hot-button issue and it’s one of the few examples of online activism that’s actually amounted to something,”…

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Junk News and Bots during the French Presidential Election (Round II)

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 French presidential…

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From autonomous drones to fake news generators, Military researchers seek to weaponise AI

The project’s research was covered by the Financial Times. “At least 22 countries are using public money to create digital cyber troops that can manipulate public opinion through bots,” says Samantha Bradshaw, a researcher of computational propaganda at the Oxford Internet Institute. She is working on a global project to quantify these efforts. Read the…

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French social media awash with fake news stories from sources ‘exposed to Russian influence’ ahead of presidential election

Our research on the 2017 French election was covered by the Independent. French voters have been deluged with fake news stories on their social media feeds ahead of the country’s presidential election, many from sources “exposed to Russian influence”, new research has found. Researchers from Oxford University found up to a quarter of the political links shared on…

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