The Computational Propaganda Project

Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford

The Trump Twitter Bots Went Hard on Election Day

The project’s research on the 2016 US election was covered in Bloomberg. Donald Trump’s supporters made a surprisingly strong showing on Nov. 8, and not just at polling places in the rust belt. Twitter bots accounted for nearly a quarter of all postings that included hashtags related to the election, according to an analysis by researchers at Corvinus University, Oxford,…

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Bots and Automation over Twitter during the U.S. Election

Bots are social media accounts that automate interaction with other users, and political bots have been particularly active on public policy issues, political crises, and elections. We collected data on bot activity using the major hashtags related to the U.S. Presidential Election. We find that that political bot activity reached an all-time high for the…

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How Pro-Trump Twitter Bots Spread Fake News

The project’s research on the 2016 US election was covered in the Daily Beast. According to a new memo compiling data from the election by a team of researchers including Oxford University Professor Philip Howard, automated pro-Trump activity outnumbered automated pro-Hillary Clinton activity by a 5:1 ratio by Election Day. And many of those auto-Trumpkins…

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How Bots, Twitter, and Hackers Pushed Trump to the Finish Line

The project’s research on the 2016 US election was covered in Wiired. Following the third debate, automated pro-Trump accounts on Twitter pumped out seven times more messages than pro-Clinton accounts. Most of these accounts, it turned out, were powered by chatbots: the newest tool in computational propaganda. “It’s definitely one of the most significant digital aspects of this…

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Social Media’s Increasing Role In The 2016 Presidential Election

The project’s research was discussed on NPR, with an appearance from Project Member Doug Guilebeault. SANDERS: So yeah. Bots are these fake accounts on Twitter that are preprogrammed. There’s a recent study that found between the first and second presidential debates, one-third of pro-Trump tweets and almost one-fifth of pro-Clinton tweets came from bots. And…

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The Political Twitter Bots Will Rage This Election Day

  The project’s research on the 2016 US election was covered in Wired. But how many of these are bots? According to Sam Woolley, a researcher from Oxford University’s Project on Computational Propaganda (which has not been peer reviewed), about 50 to 55 percent of Clinton’s Twitter activity—the likes, follows, and retweets she gets—is from bots, which…

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How pro-Trump Twitter bots are still manipulating the 2016 conversation

Our research on the 2016 US election was covered in the Daily Dot. According to a recent study released by a trio of researchers at Hungary’s Corvinus University, Oxford University in the U.K, and the University of Washington in Washington state, hashtags relating to the last general election presidential debate were flooded with tweets from Twitter bots—automated…

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That pro-Trump Tweet that Made Your Blood Boil? It Probably Came From a Bot

Our research into the 2016 US election was covered by McClatchy. Researchers say highly automated social media engines are working for both major presidential candidates, posing as real people when they are actually just machines. Often, it is difficult to discern who is behind the most diabolical of the social media messages. “It might not…

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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…

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Bots and Automation over Twitter during the Third U.S. Presidential Debate

Bots are social media accounts that automate interaction with other users, and political bots have been particularly active on public policy issues, political crises, and elections. We collected data on bot activity using the major hashtags related to the third U.S. Presidential debate. We find that automated pro-Trump accounts became even more aggressive in this…

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