The Computational Propaganda Project

Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford

Russian Involvement and Junk News during Brexit

Several prominent UK politicians are concerned about the role of Russian troll and bot accounts in public conversation over social media during the Brexit debate in 2016. Looking at our archive of Twitter conversation we find that (1) the Russian Twitter accounts shared to the public, contributed relatively little to the overall Brexit conversation, (2)…

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Computational Propaganda and Political Big Data: Moving Toward a More Critical Research Agenda

Computational propaganda has recently exploded into public consciousness. The U.S. presidential campaign of 2016 was marred by evidence, which continues to emerge, of targeted political propaganda and the use of bots to distribute political messages on social media. This computational propaganda is both a social and technical phenomenon. Technical knowledge is necessary to work with…

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Foreign Policy: 2017 Global Thinkers

Phil Howard was named one of Foreign Policy’s top global thinkers of 2017, along with Alice Marwick from Data and Society/UNC! Howard heads the Computational Propaganda Project at Oxford, an interdisciplinary research group that combines the methods of computer science, political science, and sociology to examine how the internet and social media can be used…

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10 Things you wish you didn’t know about elections (and what to do about them)

Project PI Phil Howard spoke at an event hosted by the University’s Social Science Division to highlight projects across the university receiving ERC funding. The talk has been made into an interactive presentation accessible here.  

ComProp Awarded 2017 Democracy Award by NDI

We are pleased to announce that our project has been awarded a 2017 Democracy Award by the National Democratic Institute (NDI). Every year the NDI recognizes organizations that have demonstrated a deep and abiding commitment to democracy and human rights. This year, NDI will honor the Oxford Internet Institute and the Project on Computational Propaganda for its…

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Russian propaganda engaged U.S. vets, troops on Twitter and Facebook, study finds

The project’s research on social media operations targeted against veterans was covered by McClatchy. The Oxford study categorized 12,413 Twitter users and 11,103 Facebook users whose social media messages referred to or carried content from one or more of the Russian-linked websites between April 2 and May 2, 2017. The researchers used sophisticated modeling in…

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Russian operatives used Twitter and Facebook to target veterans and military personnel, study says

The project’s latest memo on junk news and social media operations against veterans was covered in the Washington Post. They researchers also tracked information on several military-themed websites and used the traffic to these sites —  along with the Twitter data — to determine what Facebook accounts promoted similar content on publicly available pages. That yielded…

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Junk News on Military Affairs and National Security

Social media provides political news and information for both active duty military personnel and veterans. We analyze the subgroups of Twitter and Facebook users who spend time consuming junk news from websites that target US military personnel and veterans with conspiracy theories, misinformation, and other forms of junk news about military affairs and national security…

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Facebook has so much more to tell us

Phil Howard and Bence Kollanyi wrote an opinion article for the Washington Post, discussing how Facebook could share more data about political advertising and targeting with the public. Facebook and Twitter have taken the important step of handing over thousands of ads to Congress that were bought and circulated by Russian strategists to influence our…

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Social media companies must respond to the sinister reality behind fake news

Phil Howard and Bence Kollanyi wrote an opinion article for the Guardian, discussing the project’s latest research and how social media companies could “design for deliberation.” Social media companies such as Facebook and Twitter have begun to share evidence of how their platforms are used and abused during elections. They have developed interesting new initiatives to…

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