The Computational Propaganda Project

Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford

The Election Is Over, But Russian Disinformation Hasn’t Gone Away

Samantha Bradshaw spoke to PBS for a story on Russian influence in the 2016 US presidential election. Since the election, there has been a shift away from completely automated, bot accounts and a move toward “cyborg” accounts that are half human, half bot, according to Samantha Bradshaw, a researcher with the Computational Propaganda Project at Oxford…

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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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Warner sees Reddit as potential target for Russian influence

Samantha Bradshaw spoke to the Hill about the ongoing Senate Intelligence Committee investigations into various social networks. Experts who have studied Russia’s attempts to influence the election say that Warner is right to be interested in Reddit. They note that many fake news stories can be traced back to the platform, pointing to it as…

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Digging up facts about fake news: The Computational Propaganda Project

Our project work was covered by the OECD. The phenomenon of junk news and its dissemination over social media platforms have transformed (some say destroyed) political debates. The combination of automation and propaganda, also called computational propaganda, can shape public opinion. The trouble is, how can we tell the difference between fake facts and real…

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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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Government ‘Cyber Troops’ Manipulate Facebook, Twitter, Study Says

The project’s recent paper on government efforts to manipulate public opinion online was covered by Bloomberg. Governments around the world are enlisting “cyber troops” who manipulate Facebook, Twitter and other social media outlets to steer public opinion, spread misinformation and undermine critics, according to a new report from the University of Oxford. Adding to growing evidence…

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Troops, Trolls and Troublemakers: A Global Inventory of Organized Social Media Manipulation

Cyber troops are government, military or political party teams committed to manipulating public opinion over social media. In this working paper, we report on specific organizations created, often 8ith public money, to help define and manage what is in the best interest of the public. We compare such organizations across 28 countries, and inventory them…

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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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From autonomous drones to fake news generators, Military researchers seek to weaponise AI

The project’s research was covered by the Financial Times. “At least 22 countries are using public money to create digital cyber troops that can manipulate public opinion through bots,” says Samantha Bradshaw, a researcher of computational propaganda at the Oxford Internet Institute. She is working on a global project to quantify these efforts. Read the…

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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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