The Computational Propaganda Project

Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford

Bots Unite to Automate the Presidential Election

DONALD TRUMP UNDERSTANDS minority communities. Just ask Pepe Luis Lopez, Francisco Palma, and Alberto Contreras. These guys are among the candidate’s 7 million Twitter followers, and each tweeted in support of Trump after his victory in the Nevada caucuses earlier this year. The problem is, Pepe, Francisco, and Alberto aren’t people. They’re bots—spam accounts that…

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The Impact of Social Media on Political Debate (in Dutch)

ARTIKEL: Sociale media en politiek activisme: even bracht het democratie 2.0 voort. Via de digitale weg bleken politici als Alexander Pechtold en Frans Timmermans plots bereikbaar voor de gewone man. Meer dan eens zijn massaprotesten en zelfs revoluties gefaciliteerd door Facebook en Twitter. Maar er is een kentering aan de gang. Zogenoemde ‘bots’, geautomatiseerde nepprofielen,…

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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…

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Presentation at Yale Law School

Project collaborators Phil Howard and Sam Woolley presented a coauthored paper, “Campaign Bots & The Law”, authored by Ryan Calo, Lisa Manheim, Sam Woolley and Phil Howard. It was presented at the Yale Information Society Project’s “Unlocking the Black Box” conference, and we identify the ways in which bots, when used by political campaign managers,…

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Prezi: Campaign Bots & The Law

Here is an interactive Prezi on our recent paper “Campaign Bots & The Law”, authored by Ryan Calo, Lisa Manheim, Sam Woolley and Phil Howard.  We identify the ways in which bots, when used by political campaign managers, may make politicians run afoul of election and campaign regulations.

Presentation at SXSW 2016

Project Researchers Samuel Woolley and Phil Howard presented twice at SXSW this year. There was a “Book Reading” of Pax Technica: The “internet of things” is the expanding network of everyday objects—you can expect some 35 billion connected devices by 2020. The internet won’t be about your mobile phone or laptop anymore, it will be dominated…

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Automating Power: Social Bot Interference in Global Politics

Over the last several years political actors worldwide have begun harnessing the digital power of social bots — software programs designed to mimic human social media users on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit. Increasingly, politicians, militaries, and government-contracted firms use these automated actors in online attempts to manipulate public opinion and disrupt organizational communication….

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Video: Polbots at Princeton

Polbots project manager Sam Woolley presented some of the project’s research findings at Princeton University’s Center for Information Technology and Policy.    

We’re in a Bot Gold Rush. Kik tells you how to strike it rich.

Quinn Brenner was living a nightmare. Her mother passed away. She was rejected from drama school. Then, as she was leaving an audition, she was hit by a car. After flat-lining, Quinn managed to survive, waking up in the hospital with two broken legs. Throughout this grueling recovery, her phone was her only connection to…

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Les bots informatiques : énigmes légales dans un avenir rempli de robots

Selon Andrew Leonard, journaliste et auteur du livre Bots : The Origin of New Species, un bot est « un programme informatique autonome supposé intelligent, doué de personnalité, et qui habituellement, mais pas toujours, rend un service ». On peut penser au bot informatique comme à un assistant personnel qui s’occupe de tâches fastidieuses pour…

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