The Computational Propaganda Project

Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford

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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Social Media, News and Political Information during the US Election: Was Polarizing Content Concentrated in Swing States?

US voters shared large volumes of polarizing political news and information in the form of links to content from Russian, WikiLeaks and junk news sources. Was this low quality political information distributed evenly around the country, or concentrated in swing states and particular parts of the country? In this data memo we apply a tested…

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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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What Facebook Knows

The project’s research and writing was discussed in Vice News. To answer these questions conclusively, academic researchers have said that Facebook could very easily clear the air by releasing more of its data. But just as the company keeps its algorithm under wraps, the company has thus far declined to share broad data about the…

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Spreading fake news becomes standard practice for governments across the world

The project’s research on government-sponsored social media manipulation was covered in the Washington Post. These propaganda efforts exploit every social media platform — Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and beyond — and rely on human users and computerized “bots” that can dramatically amplify the power of disinformation campaigns by automating the process of preparing and delivering posts….

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