The Computational Propaganda Project

Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford

Botifesto: How To Think About Bots

This originally appeared as “How to Think About Bots” by Samuel Woolley, danah boyd, Meredith Broussard, Madeleine Elish, Lainna Fader, Tim Hwang, Alexis Lloyd, Gilad Lotan, Luis Daniel Placios, Allison Parrish, Gilad Rosner, Saiph Savage, and Samantha Shorey on February 23rd 2016 on Motherboard. We live in a world of bots. Generally speaking, these sets of…

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The Good, Bad, and Ugly of the World of Bots, and the Journalistic Implications of Using Them

The project’s research was covered by the Nieman Lab. Bot or not? Vice’s Motherboard has a piece up today — a “botifesto,” if you will (or if you must) — that gives a comprehensive rundown of just how useful, harmful, and ultimately inescapable bots are to our digital lives. Bots, “[g]enerally speaking these sets of…

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Curated Essays on Data & Society Points

Sam Woolley curated a collection of essays from a week-long workshop at Data & Society. The workshop brought together a group of experts to get a better grip on the questions that bots raise for public life: These essays can be found here. How to Think About Bots by Samuel Woolley, danah boyd, Meredith Broussard, Madeleine…

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Prezi: Confronting Political Bot Attacks – Guidelines for Civil Society Leaders

Governments, militaries, and lone attackers increasingly use bots to attack civil society groups. This Prezi investigates how such groups should prepare and respond.    

Prezi: Creating Lasting Relationships Among Computer and Social Scientists

Here is an interactive Prezi about how the special collaborations within our project are going. We are tackling some important research questions, but doing so as a parity-based team of computer and social scientists.

Prezi: About the Project

Here is an interactive Prezi describing the goals, work plan and initial findings of the Computational Propaganda Research Project.

5 Countries That Use Bots to Spread Political Propaganda

The project’s research was covered by Tech Insider. More recently, bots are being used by governments mimic social media users and manipulate public opinion. In 2015, more than 40 countries deployed political bots, says Samuel Woolley, a PhD candidate at the University of Washington. His team has logged more than 100 cases of bots designed to sway elections, pad follower counts, or…

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How To Think About Bots (New York)

Sam Woolley coordinated a workshop on the implications of bots for public life, bringing together a community of scholars, activists, artists and policy thinkers.  The group debated the implications of bots for public life, and he curated a collection of Points/talking bots.  “What is the Value of a Bot?” is a series of essays from…

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Social Media, Revolution, and the Rise of the Political Bot

Uprisings and protests worldwide, from the Arab Spring across North Africa and the Middle East to Euromaidan in the Ukraine, have made use of social media in creative ways. Activists use these online tools in efforts to mobilize, organize, and publicize their grievances. Yet scholars take differing positions on the effectiveness of social media as…

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Political Bots and the Manipulation of Public Opinion in Venezuela

Social and political bots have a small but strategic role in Venezuelan political conversations. These automated scripts generate content through social media platforms and then interact with people. In this preliminary study on the use of political bots in Venezuela, we analyze the tweeting, following and retweeting patterns for the accounts of prominent Venezuelan politicians…

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