The Computational Propaganda Project

Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford

Woolley and Guilbeault on Bots in The Atlantic

Project members Sam Woolley and Douglas Guilbeault wrote an article on how “Bots are Shaping the US Election” for the Atlantic. All these numbers—social media followings, polls, or statistics—are only as viable as the tools used to get to them. Political campaigns worldwide now use bots, software developed to automatically do tasks online, as a…

Continue Reading

Bots Unite to Automate the Presidential Election

Phil Howard and Sam Woolley wrote an article on the 2016 US election for Wired Magazine. But as the power of bots grows, so does the capacity for misuse. Bots now pollute conversations around topics like #blacklivesmatter and #guncontrol, interrupting productive debate with outpourings of automated hate. We’ve seen antivaccination bots reach out to parents…

Continue Reading

These are the Droids You’re Looking For: Bots as a Tool For Journalism

This originally appeared as “These are the Droids You’re Looking For:  Bots as a Tool For Journalism” by Samuel Woolley and Phil Howard on the National Endowment for Democracy’s Center for International Media Assistance Blog. In today’s data-saturated world journalists often struggle to report on many, if not most, of the potential stories that come across their…

Continue Reading

Botifesto: How To Think About Bots

This originally appeared as “How to Think About Bots” by Samuel Woolley, danah boyd, Meredith Broussard, Madeleine Elish, Lainna Fader, Tim Hwang, Alexis Lloyd, Gilad Lotan, Luis Daniel Placios, Allison Parrish, Gilad Rosner, Saiph Savage, and Samantha Shorey on February 23rd 2016 on Motherboard. We live in a world of bots. Generally speaking, these sets of…

Continue Reading

Curated Essays on Data & Society Points

Sam Woolley curated a collection of essays from a week-long workshop at Data & Society. The workshop brought together a group of experts to get a better grip on the questions that bots raise for public life: These essays can be found here. How to Think About Bots by Samuel Woolley, danah boyd, Meredith Broussard, Madeleine…

Continue Reading

Ecuador is Spending Millions on Malware, Pro-Government Trolls

Sam Woolley wrote an article about bots in Ecuador for Global Voices. According to researchers, the upswing in the Ecuadorian government use of social media to influence public conversations and media coverage correlates with a similar rise in government-driven trolling by governments worldwide. Media watchdogs, activists and academics have been closely watching the rise Twitter…

Continue Reading

The Internet of Things is Poised to Change Democracy Itself

Phil Howard wrote an article about the Internet of Things for Politico. This might sound unlikely at first, and it won’t be felt right away. But it’s important to realize that when we look at the Internet of Things, we’re seeing a technology, or rather a technological system, that will not just pose challenges for…

Continue Reading

How Big Is The Internet of Things and how Big Will It Get?

Phil Howard wrote an article about the political impact of the Internet of Things for The Brookings Institution’s TechTank blog. New information technologies have transformed world politics, and not always for the better. Even trying to understand how technology connects us reveals the strengths and weaknesses of the Internet. To understand what the Internet is becoming,…

Continue Reading

Bring on the Bots

Sam Woolley and Tim Hwang wrote about bots for Civicist. Over the last several years, in fact, journalists have increasingly reported on cases of politicians using bots worldwide during contested elections and security crises to pad follower lists, spam and disable activists, and send out pro-government propaganda. That unsavory actors are using bots globally to…

Continue Reading

Why the Internet Should Be a Public Resource

Phil Howard wrote an article about internet governance for the Yale Books Blog. 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…

Continue Reading

1 2 3