The Computational Propaganda Project

Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford

Rightwing populist AfD dominates German Twitter, new study shows

The project’s research into the 2017 German election was covered in the Financial Times. Research published today by a group at Oxford university shows that the rightwing populist Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) drives more Twitter traffic than any major German party, and more even than non-partisan discussion of the upcoming general election itself. The study by…

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Far right makes most noise on Twitter in German election

The project’s latest memo on the German federal election was featured in Reuters. The far right is making the most noise on Twitter during Germany’s election campaign, but far less fake news is being spread in Germany than the United States saw before the election that put Donald Trump in power, an Oxford University study…

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“Es gibt keine Smoking Gun”

Lisa-Maria Neudert was interviewed by Correctiv about the project’s research into the 2017 German federal election. Am Dienstag haben die Wissenschaftler ihre jüngste Studie veröffentlicht. „Junk News and Bots during the German Parliamentary Election: What are German Voters Sharing over Twitter”. Ergebnis: 1. Die AfD hat den höchsten Anteil am Tweets (30 Prozent), die sich um die…

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Junk News and Bots during the German Parliamentary Election: What are German Voters Sharing over Twitter?

Automation and propaganda can significantly impact public life 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 German Parliamentary Election for a ten-day period in September 2017. We find that (1) traffic about the far-right Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) accounts…

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Social media ‘bots’ tried to influence the U.S. election. Germany may be next.

Lisa-Maria Neudert was interviewed for this Science Magazine story on bots and the German election. Germany seemed a good place to try. The German parliament’s network was hacked in 2015—Russia is said to be the prime suspect—leading to worries that stolen emails might be published strategically to affect the election. (In France’s presidential election this…

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Confusion Before the German Election: What Influence Does Fake News Have?

We are collaborating with our colleagues at the SNV and Reporters Without Borders on a ComProp Research Briefing in Berlin.  On October 20th we will present our latest evidence from our investigations of junk news and highly automated accounts in the German election.  Please register for the event here.

Die Stimmungskanonen

Our project research was featured in a story published in the Süddeutsche Zeitung. Die University of Oxford unterhält darum seit einiger Zeit das Computational Propaganda Research Project, das unter anderem für Deutschland und die Bundestagswahl festhält, dass zwar alle im Bundestag vertretenen Parteien den Botnetzen abschwören und geloben, sie nicht einsetzen zu wollen, dass aber Angela…

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Germany’s anti-fake news lab yields mixed results

The project’s research was mentioned in a POLITICO story on Germany’s ‘fake-news’ regulation. A new report by the University of Oxford investigated what German fact-checkers may be up against, finding that “the majority of the misinformation pages identified were politically right, and xenophobic, nationalist, pro-Pegida, pro-AfD and Islamophobic content was common.” While in the U.S. the debate has frequently…

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Computational Propaganda in Germany: A Cautionary Tale

As part of our new country case study series, project member Lisa-Maria Neudert investigated computational propaganda in Germany. Political actors are using algorithms in efforts to sway public opinion. In some circumstances, the ways coded automation interacts with or affects human users are unforeseeable. In others, individuals and organizations build software that purposefully targets voters,…

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Junk News and Bots during the German Federal Presidency Election: What Were German Voters Sharing Over Twitter?

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 data on bot activity and junk news using a set of hashtags related to the German Federal Presidency…

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