The Computational Propaganda Project

Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford

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.

‘Bots’ spam FCC website over proposed net neutrality reversal

Our Principal Investigator Phil Howard was featured in a BBC story on Net Neutrality. Bots appear to be spamming a US regulator’s website over a proposed reversal of net neutrality rules, researchers have said. “Net neutrality is such a hot-button issue and it’s one of the few examples of online activism that’s actually amounted to something,”…

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Junk News and Bots during the French Presidential Election (Round II)

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 French presidential…

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Junk News and Bots during the French Presidential Election (Round I)

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 French Presidential…

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Fake News is Widely Shared as the Real Thing

Our research into the 2016 US election was covered by the Financial Times. Nearly a quarter of web content shared on Twitter by users in the battleground state of Michigan during the final days of last year’s US election campaign was so-called fake news, according to a University of Oxford study. Researchers at the Oxford…

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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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Junk News and Bots during the U.S. Election: What Were Michigan 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 automation and junk news using major hashtags related to politics in the state of Michigan in…

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How fake news becomes a popular, trending topic

Our project was featured in a 60 Minutes investigation of ‘fake news’ and disinformation. Phil Howard leads the Internet Institute at the University of Oxford which examines misinformation on social media. They’ve analyzed web traffic in the days before the election in the swing state of Michigan. Scott Pelley: How much of this news on…

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Robert Mercer: the big data billionaire waging war on mainstream media

Our project work was covered in the Guardian. The war of the bots is one of the wilder and weirder aspects of the elections of 2016. At the Oxford Internet Institute’s Unit for Computational Propaganda, its director, Phil Howard, and director of research, Sam Woolley, show me all the ways public opinion can be massaged…

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Trump, Putin and the New Cold War

Our project research on the US Election was mentioned in the New Yorker. On April 12, 1982, Yuri Andropov, the chairman of the K.G.B., ordered foreign-intelligence operatives to carry out “active measures”—aktivniye meropriyatiya—against the reëlection campaign of President Ronald Reagan. Unlike classic espionage, which involves the collection of foreign secrets, active measures aim at influencing…

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