The Computational Propaganda Project

Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford

How Do You Fix Someone Else’s Election?

Sam Woolley was interviewed on BBC radio to discuss the project’s research and the use of bots for election meddling. Smears, bots and bags of cash – we reveal some of the tricks used for fiddling elections around the world. German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s security chiefs say Russian intelligence is actively trying to influence next month’s…

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Hey politicians — don’t hate the internet, hate the game

Project members Sam Woolley and Nick Monaco wrote an opinion piece about bot regulation for TechCrunch. Policymakers’ animus against the internet isn’t new: it’s part of a long trend of suspicion about this medium that challenges all media. Their feelings toward regulation of the web are often muddied by broader trends of political ambivalence toward the actual…

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Fake News Bots Are Here

Project member Sam Woolley was interviewed about bots and the 2016 US Election on NPR. How do you judge public opinion on any given issue? What others are thinking? Paying attention to? If social media play into your read, watch out. When it comes to politics in particular, social media can be overrun with, twisted…

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Computational Propaganda Worldwide: Executive Summary

We’re very excited to announce the launch of our case study series on computational propaganda in 9 different countries. Find the executive summary, written by Sam Woolley and Phil Howard, here. The Computational Propaganda Research Project at the Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford, has researched the use of social media for public opinion manipulation. The…

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Computational Propaganda in the United States of America: Manufacturing Consensus Online

As part of our new country case study series, project members Sam Woolley and Doug Guilbeault investigated the use of bots and other false amplifiers in the US. Abstract: Do bots have the capacity to influence the flow of political information over social media? This working paper answers this question through two methodological avenues: A)…

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COMPROP Briefing Tour (London, Washington DC, Palo Alto)

Our team presented the latest research about the manipulation of public opinion over social media. This briefing helped ground a group conversation about the prospects for improving deliberative democracy and provide a first look at the Lab’s most recent research findings from a series of country specific case studies. The event will include an executive…

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The Most Important Lesson From the Dust-Up Over Trump’s Fake Twitter Followers

Project members Tim Hwang and Sam Woolley have a new article in Slate discussing bots that follow political candidates. Let’s be clear: Coordinated campaigns of misinformation and manipulation on social media are absolutely real and are becoming an increasingly prominent component of the online media landscape. A variety of state and nonstate actors are increasingly…

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

Our project’s work was covered in the Washington Post. 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…

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

Our research was covered in the Sydney Morning Herald. On social media, bots (short for robots) are small programs that automate the posting of and reply to messages. Political campaigns in democracies have used bots in recent years, not always achieving the effects they desired. But last year, they began to be exploited in a…

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