The Computational Propaganda Project

Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford

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…

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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…

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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…

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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,…

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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…

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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…

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

Sam Woolley and Phil Howard wrote an article for TechPresident on the political effects of bots. 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…

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Spammers, Scammers, and Trolls: Political Bot Manipulation

Sam Woolley wrote an article for the Open Technology Institute at the New America Foundation. What is relatively new and on the rise is the cunning use of social bots by politicians, astroturf activists, and ideological extremists. These “political” bots and the messages they produce represent a new form of discriminatory computational propaganda. Via targeted…

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New York Times: Hungary’s Crackdown on the Media

Phil Howard wrote an article for the New York Times about “Hungary’s Crackdown on the Press.“ The European Union faces a challenging conundrum. While Hungary has embarked on building Europe’s most controlled media system, the European Commission just agreed in August to provide the country with nearly 22 billion euros of economic assistance. Hungary has…

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Let’s Make Candidates Pledge Not to Use Bots

Phil Howard wrote an article about bots and campaigns for Reuters. Bots — chunks of computer code that generate messages and replicate themselves — have been infecting political discourse around the world. They have been spotted try to influence elections in the United Kingdom, Mexico and just recently, South Korea. Politicians there have been using…

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