The Computational Propaganda Project

Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford

Computational Propaganda in Brazil: Social Bots During Elections

As part of our new country case study series, project member Dan Arnaudo investigated computational propaganda in Brazil. Abstract: Computational propaganda can take the form of automated accounts (bots) spreading information, algorithmic manipulation and the spread of fake news to shape public opinion, amongst other methods. These techniques are being used in combination with the…

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COMPROP Briefing Tour (London, Washington DC, Palo Alto)

Our team presented the latest research about the manipulation of public opinion over social media. This briefing helped ground a group conversation about the prospects for improving deliberative democracy and provide a first look at the Lab’s most recent research findings from a series of country specific case studies. The event will include an executive…

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Facebook needs to be more open about its effect on democracy

A follow up opinion piece to the project’s most recent UK General Election memo was written by John Gallacher and Monica Kaminska, and published in the Guardian.   Facebook and Twitter fast became major electoral battlegrounds in the 2017 general election. It is here that campaigns had the potential to be won or lost. Young…

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Labour dominating Twitter discussions, researchers say

Content about Labour is dominating Twitter in the run-up to the general election, according to a new study from the University of Oxford’s Internet Institute. The researchers, who have been tracking the changes in activity over time, looked at traffic on Twitter over the final week of May to identify trends around political engagement, ultimately…

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Brexit bots and the UK election

Some of the automated Twitter accounts, or ‘bots’, that were among the most prolific during the UK’s EU referendum campaign have turned their attention to the UK general election, tweeting with increased frequency about Ukip and Labour. Our second UK General Election memo was covered by the FT. Read the rest in the Financial Times.  

Social Media and News Sources during the 2017 UK General Election

Platforms like Twitter and sources like Wikipedia are important parts of the information diet for many citizens. In this data memo, we analyse Twitter data on bot activity and junk news for a week in the final stages of campaigning of the 2017 UK General Election and also present data on Wikipedia page consultations about…

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The Most Important Lesson From the Dust-Up Over Trump’s Fake Twitter Followers

Project members Tim Hwang and Sam Woolley have a new article in Slate discussing bots that follow political candidates. Let’s be clear: Coordinated campaigns of misinformation and manipulation on social media are absolutely real and are becoming an increasingly prominent component of the online media landscape. A variety of state and nonstate actors are increasingly…

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One in eight Twitter election shares ‘link to junk news’

One in eight political stories shared on Twitter in the run-up to the general election is from a “junk news source”, research suggests. UK users shared one link from automated bot accounts promoting “junk” information for every four links to professionally produced news, according to the Oxford Internet Institute. Our UK General Election memo was…

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Labour dominating election conversation on Twitter, study finds

The Labour party dominates the conversation on Twitter, with almost 40% of tweets on election-related hashtags, according to a study by the Oxford Internet Institute about social media in the run-up to the general election. By contrast, tweets about the Conservative party made up just 26% of traffic, with the Scottish National party, Ukip and…

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Junk News and Bots during the 2017 UK General Election

Computational propaganda distributes large amounts of misinformation about politics and public policy over social media platforms. The combination of automation and propaganda can significantly impact public opinion during important policy debates, elections, and political crises. We collected Twitter data on bot activity and junk news using a set of hashtags related to the 2017 UK…

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