The Computational Propaganda Project

Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford

Ecuador is Spending Millions on Malware, Pro-Government Trolls

Sam Woolley wrote an article about bots in Ecuador for Global Voices. According to researchers, the upswing in the Ecuadorian government use of social media to influence public conversations and media coverage correlates with a similar rise in government-driven trolling by governments worldwide. Media watchdogs, activists and academics have been closely watching the rise Twitter…

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Bring on the Bots

Sam Woolley and Tim Hwang wrote about bots for Civicist. Over the last several years, in fact, journalists have increasingly reported on cases of politicians using bots worldwide during contested elections and security crises to pad follower lists, spam and disable activists, and send out pro-government propaganda. That unsavory actors are using bots globally to…

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Bad News Bots: How Civil Society Can Combat Automated Online Propaganda

Sam Woolley and Phil Howard wrote an article for TechPresident on the political effects of bots. It’s no secret that governments and political actors now make use of social robots or bots—automated scripts that produce content and mimic real users. Faux social media accounts now spread pro-governmental messages, beef up web site follower numbers, and…

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Spammers, Scammers, and Trolls: Political Bot Manipulation

Sam Woolley wrote an article for the Open Technology Institute at the New America Foundation. What is relatively new and on the rise is the cunning use of social bots by politicians, astroturf activists, and ideological extremists. These “political” bots and the messages they produce represent a new form of discriminatory computational propaganda. Via targeted…

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