The Computational Propaganda Project

Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford

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…

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Essays on Data & Society Points

Sam Woolley curated a collection of Points/talking bots.  “What is the Value of a Bot?” is a series of essays from a  week-long workshop at Data & Society that led by “Provocateur-in-Residence” Sam Woolley.  The workshop brought together a group of experts to get a better grip on the questions that bots raise for public…

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Prezi: Confronting Political Bot Attacks – Guidelines for Civil Society Leaders

Governments, militaries, and lone attackers increasingly use bots to attack civil society groups. This Prezi investigates how such groups should prepare and respond.    

Prezi: About the Project

Here is an interactive Prezi describing the goals, work plan and initial findings of the Computational Propaganda Research Project.

Ecuador is Spending Millions on Malware, Pro-Government Trolls

(This originally appeared as #HackingTeam Leaks: Ecuador is Spending Millions on Malware, Pro-Government Trolls” on Global Voices Advocacy) Three Ecuadorian media sites experienced incapacitating online attacks last month, just minutes after they published evidence of an association between the Ecuadorian government and the surveillance technology company Hacking Team. News and commentary websites including Plan V and Gkillcity, along with the…

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The Internet of Things is Poised to Change Democracy Itself

(This appeared as “Politics won’t know what hit it:  The Internet of Things is poised to change democracy itself” in Politico Magazine.) In the evolving conversation about the “Internet of Things” — the growth of networked everyday objects and the data they generate — analysts tend to focus on business opportunity, or the security risks,…

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

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, let’s start with some basic questions—how big is it and how big will it be? The word “botnet” comes…

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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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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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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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