The Computational Propaganda Project

Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford

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 According to Sam Woolley, a researcher from Oxford University’s Project on Computational Propaganda (which has not been peer reviewed), about 50 to 55 percent of Clinton’s Twitter activity—the likes, follows, and retweets she gets—is from bots, which…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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Cracking the Stealth Political Influence of Bots

The project’s research was covered on PBS. Among the millions of real people tweeting about the presidential race, there are also a lot accounts operated by fake people, or “bots.” Politicians and regular users alike use these accounts to increase their follower bases and push messages. Science correspondent Miles O’Brien reports on how computer scientists…

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Pro-Clinton Bots ‘Fought Back but Outnumbered in Second Debate’

The project’s research into the 2016 US election was covered in the BBC. Web robots dedicated to posting pro-Hillary Clinton tweets appear to have become more vocal in the second US presidential debate, says a study. But it adds that pro-Donald Trump bots saw an even bigger gain in activity, giving the Republican a potential…

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As Artificial Intelligence Evolves, So Does Its Criminal Potential

  The project’s research was covered in The New York Times. This can already be seen in efforts by state governments and political campaigns who are using chatbot technology widely for political propaganda. Researchers have coined the term “computational propaganda” to describe the explosion of deceptive social media campaigns on services like Facebook and Twitter….

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Bot Tweets Influencing U.S. Election

The project’s research was covered in this CBC news story on the US election. Automated accounts are sending out tweets that could amplify and distort the U.S. election noise. See the full segment here.

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