The Computational Propaganda Project

Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford

Computational Propaganda in China: An Alternative Model of a Widespread Practice

As part of our new country case study series, project member Gillian Bolsever investigated bots and other false amplifiers in China. Abstract: Computational propaganda is a growing issue in Western democracies, with evidence of online opinion manipulation orchestrated by robots, fake accounts and misinformation in many recent political events. China, the country with the most…

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Computational Propaganda in Taiwan: Where Digital Democracy Meets Automated Autocracy

As part of our new country case study series, project member Nick Monaco investigated computational propaganda in Taiwan. Abstract: Taiwan is a country with a rich history and cultural ties to mainland China. Though there has been much research and effort dedicated to propaganda and censorship in the People’s Republic of China over the years,…

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Computational Propaganda in Ukraine: Caught Between External Threats and Internal Challenges

As part of our new country case study series, project members Mariia Zhdanova and Dariya Orlova investigated the use of bots and other false amplifiers in Ukraine. Abstract: This working paper examines the state of computational propaganda in Ukraine, focusing on two major dimensions, Ukraine’s response to the challenges of external information attacks and the use…

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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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