The Computational Propaganda Project

Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford

How Bots Win Friends and Influence People

Project PI Phil Howard was interviewed for a short article in IEEE Spectrum. Every now and then sociologist Phil Howard writes messages to social media accounts accusing them of being bots. It’s like a Turing test of the state of online political propaganda. “Once in a while a human will come out and say, ‘I’m not a…

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Computational Propaganda Worldwide: Executive Summary

We’re very excited to announce the launch of our case study series on computational propaganda in 9 different countries. Find the executive summary, written by Sam Woolley and Phil Howard, here. The Computational Propaganda Research Project at the Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford, has researched the use of social media for public opinion manipulation. 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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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.  

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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How social media filter bubbles and algorithms influence the election

‘One of the most powerful players in the British election is also one of the most opaque. With just over two weeks to go until voters go to the polls, there are two things every election expert agrees on: what happens on social media, and Facebook in particular, will have an enormous effect on how the…

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Facebook could tell us how Russia interfered in our elections. Why won’t it?

Team members Phil Howard and Robert Gorwa wrote an op-ed for the Washington Post which calls on Facebook to share important data on potential Russian interference in the 2016 US election, and touches on the importance of not just studying ‘fake news’, but also fake accounts and other false amplifiers. Read the full piece in the Washington Post.

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