The Computational Propaganda Project

Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford

Junk News and Bots during the German Parliamentary Election: What are German Voters Sharing over Twitter?

Automation and propaganda can significantly impact public life 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 German Parliamentary Election for a ten-day period in September 2017. We find that (1) traffic about the far-right Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) accounts…

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Troops, Trolls and Troublemakers: A Global Inventory of Organized Social Media Manipulation

Cyber troops are government, military or political party teams committed to manipulating public opinion over social media. In this working paper, we report on specific organizations created, often 8ith public money, to help define and manage what is in the best interest of the public. We compare such organizations across 28 countries, and inventory them…

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Computational Propaganda Worldwide: Executive Summary

We’re very excited to announce the launch of our case study series on computational propaganda in 9 different countries. Find the executive summary, written by Sam Woolley and Phil Howard, here. The Computational Propaganda Research Project at the Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford, has researched the use of social media for public opinion manipulation. The…

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Computational Propaganda in the United States of America: Manufacturing Consensus Online

As part of our new country case study series, project members Sam Woolley and Doug Guilbeault investigated the use of bots and other false amplifiers in the US. Abstract: Do bots have the capacity to influence the flow of political information over social media? This working paper answers this question through two methodological avenues: A)…

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Computational Propaganda in Poland: False Amplifiers and the Digital Public Sphere

As part of our new country case study series, project member Robert Gorwa investigated computational propaganda in Poland. Abstract: This report provides the first overview of political bots, fake accounts, and other false amplifiers in Poland. Based on extensive interviews with political campaign managers, journalists, activists, employees of social media marketing firms, and civil society…

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Computational Propaganda in Russia: The Origins of Digital Misinformation

As part of our new country case study series, project member Sergey Sanovich investigated the role of bots and other false amplifiers in Russia.  Abstract: Digital propaganda of the Russian government seeks to insulate Putin’s leadership from any domestic challengers and aid in his foreign policy ventures, which increasingly sets Russian interests off against the…

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Computational Propaganda in Germany: A Cautionary Tale

As part of our new country case study series, project member Lisa-Maria Neudert investigated computational propaganda in Germany. Political actors are using algorithms in efforts to sway public opinion. In some circumstances, the ways coded automation interacts with or affects human users are unforeseeable. In others, individuals and organizations build software that purposefully targets voters,…

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Computational Propaganda in Canada: The Use of Political Bots

As part of our new country case study series, project members Fenwick McKelvey and Elizabeth Dubois investigated the use of political bots in Canada. Are bots active in Canada? Yes. Are they influential? Maybe. Using a combination of quantitative social media analysis, content analysis of news articles and qualitative interviews, we study the use of…

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Computational Propaganda in China: An Alternative Model of a Widespread Practice

As part of our new country case study series, project member Gillian Bolsever investigated bots and other false amplifiers in China. Abstract: Computational propaganda is a growing issue in Western democracies, with evidence of online opinion manipulation orchestrated by robots, fake accounts and misinformation in many recent political events. China, the country with the most…

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Computational Propaganda in Taiwan: Where Digital Democracy Meets Automated Autocracy

As part of our new country case study series, project member Nick Monaco investigated computational propaganda in Taiwan. Abstract: Taiwan is a country with a rich history and cultural ties to mainland China. Though there has been much research and effort dedicated to propaganda and censorship in the People’s Republic of China over the years,…

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