The Computational Propaganda Project

Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford

Social Media and News Sources during the 2017 UK General Election

Platforms like Twitter and sources like Wikipedia are important parts of the information diet for many citizens. In this data memo, we analyse Twitter data on bot activity and junk news for a week in the final stages of campaigning of the 2017 UK General Election and also present data on Wikipedia page consultations about…

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Junk News and Bots during the 2017 UK General Election

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 2017 UK…

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Robert Mercer: the big data billionaire waging war on mainstream media

Just over a week ago, Donald Trump gathered members of the world’s press before him and told them they were liars. “The press, honestly, is out of control,” he said. “The public doesn’t believe you any more.” CNN was described as “very fake news… story after story is bad”. The BBC was “another beauty”. That…

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Trump, Putin and the New Cold War

On April 12, 1982, Yuri Andropov, the chairman of the K.G.B., ordered foreign-intelligence operatives to carry out “active measures”—aktivniye meropriyatiya—against the reëlection campaign of President Ronald Reagan. Unlike classic espionage, which involves the collection of foreign secrets, active measures aim at influencing events—at undermining a rival power with forgeries, front groups, and countless other techniques…

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Così funziona la propaganda politica a colpi di bot su Twitter

Quando si incontra online una pagina per segnalare le molestie ricevute da un bot – cioè da un programma automatico – viene da chiedersi se per caso non si sia finiti in un libro di Philip Dick. Invece, è l’università di Oxford a domandarlo. Con un progetto co-finanziato dall’Unione europea. “Pensi che un bot, un…

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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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Pro #Brexit Twitter Bots (in German)

Sind womöglich Maschinen schuld? Gemeint ist die britische Anti-EU Entscheidung von vergangenem Freitag. Vor der Abstimmung waren auffällig viele Pro-Brexit Stimmen in den sozialen Netzwerken zu finden, vor allem auf Twitter. Und deren Tweets stammten nicht nur von überzeugten EU-Kritikern, sondern auch von Bots, von Computerprogrammen. Das haben zwei Politikwissenschaftler in einer Studie festgestellt. Ok,…

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Social Media, Civic Engagement, and the Slactivism Hypothesis: Lessons from Mexico’s “El Bronco

Does social media use have a positive or negative impact on civic engagement? The cynical “slacktivism hypothesis” holds that if citizens use social media for political conversation, those conversations will be fleeting and vapid. Most attempts to answer this question involve public opinion data from the United States, so we offer an examination o f…

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Computer & Neue Medien (in German)

1. Es postet die Maschine. Wenn TwitterBots Politik machen. 2. Häppchenweise. Über Micro-Learning und Fortbildung in kleinen Portionen. 3. Stuttgart oder Detroit? Das autonome Auto als Kampfplatz zwischen alten Marken und jungen Entrepreneuren. Listen at ORF.

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