Political bots

Project on Algorithms, Computational Propaganda, and Digital Politics

Fake News: Why the West is Blind to Russia’s Propaganda Today

Russia has skilfully exploited social media to divide the West and increase Moscow’s power in Europe, the US and eventually Asia. The use of social media as a platform to divide democracies works, in part, because the strategy preys on a fundamental blind spot in open societies: the origin and volume of voices taking part…

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Pro #Brexit Twitter Bots (in German)

Sind womöglich Maschinen schuld? Gemeint ist die britische Anti-EU Entscheidung von vergangenem Freitag. Vor der Abstimmung waren auffällig viele Pro-Brexit Stimmen in den sozialen Netzwerken zu finden, vor allem auf Twitter. Und deren Tweets stammten nicht nur von überzeugten EU-Kritikern, sondern auch von Bots, von Computerprogrammen. Das haben zwei Politikwissenschaftler in einer Studie festgestellt. Ok,…

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Logo of journal Big Data

Call for Papers: Special Issue on Computational Propaganda and Political Big Data

We are pleased to announce a special issue of the journal Big Data dedicated to computational propaganda. This special issue is guest edited by project members Professor Phil Howard and Gillian Bolsover. The deadline for submission is 1 June, 2017 for publication in December 2017. Computational propaganda—the use of information technologies for political purposes—is on…

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Social Media, Civic Engagement, and the Slactivism Hypothesis: Lessons from Mexico’s “El Bronco

Does social media use have a positive or negative impact on civic engagement? The cynical “slacktivism hypothesis” holds that if citizens use social media for political conversation, those conversations will be fleeting and vapid. Most attempts to answer this question involve public opinion data from the United States, so we offer an examination o f…

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Fake News Bots

Automated social media accounts known as ‘bots’ may be used to distort political perception online. We speak with research director Samuel Woolley of the Oxford Internet Institute’s Computational Propaganda Project to learn more about this phenomenon. Listen to the interview with OPB’s Think Out Loud.

Pizza, politics and pure fiction: the rise of fake news

On Sunday 4th December last year, 28 year old father of two Edgar Welch woke early, told his family he had some chores to do, packed an assault rifle into his car and drove from his North Carolina home to Washington DC – where he walked into the Comet Ping Pong pizza restaurant, fired three…

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Computer & Neue Medien (in German)

1. Es postet die Maschine. Wenn TwitterBots Politik machen. 2. Häppchenweise. Über Micro-Learning und Fortbildung in kleinen Portionen. 3. Stuttgart oder Detroit? Das autonome Auto als Kampfplatz zwischen alten Marken und jungen Entrepreneuren. Listen at ORF.

On Twitter, a Battle Among Political Bots

On social media, our political battles are increasingly automated. People who head to Twitter to discuss their ideals are, often unwittingly, conversing with legions of bots: accounts preprogrammed to spew the same campaign slogans, insults or conspiracy theories hundreds or thousands of times a day. And one of their most competitive battlegrounds is the prime…

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Event: 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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