Political bots

Project on Algorithms, Computational Propaganda, and Digital Politics

ComProp on MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Show

Research by team members Bence Kollyani, Phil Howard, and Samuel Woolley was recently featured on the Rachel Maddow show. See more here:

As a conservative Twitter user sleeps, his account is hard at work

CHICAGO — Daniel John Sobieski, 68, climbed the stairs in his modest brick home and settled into a worn leather chair for another busy day of tweeting. But he needn’t have bothered. As one of the nation’s most prolific conservative voices on Twitter, he already had posted hundreds of times this morning — as he…

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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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Fake News Bots

Automated social media accounts known as ‘bots’ may be used to distort political perception online. We speak with research director Samuel Woolley of the Oxford Internet Institute’s Computational Propaganda Project to learn more about this phenomenon. Listen to the interview with OPB’s Think Out Loud.

Event: The US Election and Disinformation @ IFTF

Director of Research Samuel Woolley gave a talk on November 11, 2016 at an event sponsored by the National Democratic Institute and the US State Department. The theme of the event, which was held at the Institute for the Future, was the role of disinformation during the US Election. Dan Swinslow of NDI wrote the…

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Resource for Understanding Political Bots

We put together this brief write-up for people (concerned citizens, journalists, policy makers, academics, etc.) hoping to 1) understand the use and brief history of political bots, 2) develop ways for spotting political bots on social media platforms and 3) work to understand the role of companies like Twitter and Facebook in moderating bot driven…

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Automated Pro-Trump Overwhelmed Pro-Clinton Messages, Researchers Say

An automated army of pro-Donald J. Trump chatbots overwhelmed similar programs supporting Hillary Clinton five to one in the days leading up to the presidential election, according to a report published Thursday by researchers at Oxford University. The chatbots — basic software programs with a bit of artificial intelligence and rudimentary communication skills — would…

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Bots and Automation over Twitter during the U.S. Election

Bots are social media accounts that automate interaction with other users, and political bots have been particularly active on public policy issues, political crises, and elections. We collected data on bot activity using the major hashtags related to the U.S. Presidential Election. We find that that political bot activity reached an all-time high for the…

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How Pro-Trump Twitter Bots Spread Fake News

President-elect Donald Trump has credited the strength of his political movement, in part, to his immense reach on social-media platforms. And it’s true, he does have a ton of followers on Facebook and Twitter. But not all of those followers are human. Throughout the 2016 presidential campaign, automated networks of social-media bots spread erroneous information…

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How Bots, Twitter, and Hackers Pushed Trump to the Finish Line

The 2016 presidential election season is, at last, over. Polls and the press were reasonably certain Hillary Clinton would emerge as the country’s first female president. But the winner, to the shock of many, was Donald Trump, a candidate written off early by the Republican establishment, and then by the Democratic establishment, as a sideshow….

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