The Computational Propaganda Project

Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford

IJOC: Political Communication, Computational Propaganda, and Autonomous Agents — Introduction

The Internet certainly disrupted our understanding of what communication can be, who does it, how, and to what effect. What constitutes the Internet has always been an evolving suite of technologies and a dynamic set of social norms, rules, and patterns of use. But the shape and character of digital communications are shifting again—the browser…

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Inside Trump’s ‘cyborg’ Twitter army

When Donald Trump confronted revelations that he used money from his charitable foundation to settle private legal disputes and purchase portraits of himself, a tireless army of tweeters went to work to keep the focus on Hillary Clinton’s foundation instead. Then Trump stumbled on a debate question about why he refuses to release his taxes,…

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A look at bots influencing social media in the US election, ways to take back control of your mobile, and the latest drone from GoPro

Our research was featured in a segment of the BBC show Click, about the role of social media bots in modern political communication. Watch the video on BBC iPlayer.

Stay Woke with Help From a Bot

For DeRay Mckesson and his fellow Black Lives Matter activists, Twitter is a double-edged sword. The social media platform has made it easy for Mckesson to post messages, amass a dedicated digital following (half a million strong, and growing), and influence real-world events. But Twitter has also become a burden as Mckesson and other movement…

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Creativity and Critique: Gap Analysis of Support for Critical Research on Big Data

We define big data as large amounts of information, collected about many people, over multiple devices. We define critical big data research as efforts to demonstrate how flaws—ethical or methodological—in the collection and use and of big have implications for social inequality. There are many critical and creative big data research endeavors around the world. Here…

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Watch out for the Brexit bots

As the Brexit vote draws closer, undecided voters will need to make up their minds. Some will turn to friends and family. Others will turn to news channels. A piece of advice: Whatever you do, avoid Twitter. Out of 1.5 million tweets between June 5 and June 12, 54% were pro-Leave, 20% were pro-Remain and…

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Beware the Brexit bots: The Twitter spam out to swing your vote

Watch out for the ballot bots. As the UK’s referendum on membership of the European Union draws near, researchers are increasingly concerned about automated social media accounts that might be trying to sway the vote. Philip Howard at Oxford University and Bence Kollanyi at Corvinus University have discovered bot accounts furiously sharing and promoting messages…

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These ‘bots’ could sway the Brexit vote

Automated social media accounts are being used by both sides in the Brexit debate, a new report shows, with some experts fearing that a sudden surge in activity by the “bots” could influence the referendum vote. Researchers from Oxford University and Budapest’s Corvinus University have found that bots are playing a “small but strategic role”…

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Three Research Appointments in Computational Social Science

**Update 23/09/2016 These posts have been filled, but we will likely advertise again, along similar themes, in a year.   We are looking for three talented researchers to join our team of computational social scientists at Oxford.  Ideally, we’d like to have one person interested in the sociology of algorithmic production, another interested in the policy…

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Bots, #StrongerIn, and #Brexit: Computational Propaganda during the UK-EU Referendum

Bots are social media accounts that automate interaction with other users, and they are active on the StrongerIn-Brexit conversation happening over Twitter. These automated scripts generate content through these platforms and then interact with people. Political bots are automated accounts that are particularly active on public policy issues, elections, and political crises. In this preliminary…

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