The Computational Propaganda Project

Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford

The US Election and Disinformation @ IFTF

Director of Research Samuel Woolley gave a talk on November 11, 2016 at an event sponsored by the National Democratic Institute and the US State Department. The theme of the event, which was held at the Institute for the Future, was the role of disinformation during the US Election. Dan Swinslow of NDI wrote the…

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Resource for Understanding Political Bots

We put together this brief write-up for people (concerned citizens, journalists, policy makers, academics, etc.) hoping to 1) understand the use and brief history of political bots, 2) develop ways for spotting political bots on social media platforms and 3) work to understand the role of companies like Twitter and Facebook in moderating bot driven…

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Automated Pro-Trump Overwhelmed Pro-Clinton Messages, Researchers Say

The project’s research on the US Presidential Election was covered in The New York Times. An automated army of pro-Donald J. Trump chatbots overwhelmed similar programs supporting Hillary Clinton five to one in the days leading up to the presidential election, according to a report published Thursday by researchers at Oxford University. The chatbots —…

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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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