The Computational Propaganda Project

Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford

Fake News: Why the West is Blind to Russia’s Propaganda Today

Russia has skilfully exploited social media to divide the West and increase Moscow’s power in Europe, the US and eventually Asia. The use of social media as a platform to divide democracies works, in part, because the strategy preys on a fundamental blind spot in open societies: the origin and volume of voices taking part…

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Logo of journal Big Data

Call for Papers: Special Issue on Computational Propaganda and Political Big Data

We are pleased to announce a special issue of the journal Big Data dedicated to computational propaganda. This special issue is guest edited by project members Professor Phil Howard and Gillian Bolsover. The deadline for submission is 1 June, 2017 for publication in December 2017. Computational propaganda—the use of information technologies for political purposes—is on…

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IJOC: Automation, Big Data and Politics: A Research Review

We review the great variety of critical scholarship on algorithms, automation, and big data in areas of contemporary life both to document where there has been robust scholarship and to contribute to existing scholarship by identifying gaps in our research agenda. We identify five domains with opportunities for further scholarship: (a) China, (b) international interference…

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Auditing for Transparency in Content Personalization Systems

Do we have a right to transparency when we use content personalization systems? Building on prior work in discrimination detection in data mining, I propose algorithm auditing as a compatible ethical duty for providers of content personalization systems to maintain the transparency of political discourse. I explore barriers to auditing that reveal the practical limitations…

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5 Countries That Use Bots to Spread Political Propaganda

Bots, or bits of code that automatically post to social media, are integral to the Internet. Google uses bots to crawl search results, and businesses use them to post automated messages. More recently, bots are being used by governments mimic social media users and manipulate public opinion. Read more in Tech Insider.

Political Bots and the Manipulation of Public Opinion in Venezuela

Social and political bots have a small but strategic role in Venezuelan political conversations. These automated scripts generate content through social media platforms and then interact with people. In this preliminary study on the use of political bots in Venezuela, we analyze the tweeting, following and retweeting patterns for the accounts of prominent Venezuelan politicians…

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New York Times: Hungary’s Crackdown on the Media

(This originally appeared in the NYT as “Hungary’s Crackdown on the Press“.) BUDAPEST — The European Union faces a challenging conundrum. While Hungary has embarked on building Europe’s most controlled media system, the European Commission just agreed in August to provide the country with nearly 22 billion euros of economic assistance. Hungary has become a…

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