The Computational Propaganda Project

Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford

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…

Continue Reading

Fake News is Widely Shared as the Real Thing

Our research into the 2016 US election was covered by the Financial Times. Nearly a quarter of web content shared on Twitter by users in the battleground state of Michigan during the final days of last year’s US election campaign was so-called fake news, according to a University of Oxford study. Researchers at the Oxford…

Continue Reading

How fake news becomes a popular, trending topic

Our project was featured in a 60 Minutes investigation of ‘fake news’ and disinformation. Phil Howard leads the Internet Institute at the University of Oxford which examines misinformation on social media. They’ve analyzed web traffic in the days before the election in the swing state of Michigan. Scott Pelley: How much of this news on…

Continue Reading

Trump, Putin and the New Cold War

Our project research on the US Election was mentioned in the New Yorker. 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…

Continue Reading

On Twitter, a Battle Among Political Bots

The project’s research on the 2016 US Election was featured in the New York Times. People who head to Twitter to discuss their ideals are, often unwittingly, conversing with legions of bots: accounts preprogrammed to spew the same campaign slogans, insults or conspiracy theories hundreds or thousands of times a day. And one of their…

Continue Reading

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

The project’s research on the US Presidential Election was covered in The New York Times. 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 —…

Continue Reading

The Trump Twitter Bots Went Hard on Election Day

The project’s research on the 2016 US election was covered in Bloomberg. Donald Trump’s supporters made a surprisingly strong showing on Nov. 8, and not just at polling places in the rust belt. Twitter bots accounted for nearly a quarter of all postings that included hashtags related to the election, according to an analysis by researchers at Corvinus University, Oxford,…

Continue Reading

How Pro-Trump Twitter Bots Spread Fake News

The project’s research on the 2016 US election was covered in the Daily Beast. According to a new memo compiling data from the election by a team of researchers including Oxford University Professor Philip Howard, automated pro-Trump activity outnumbered automated pro-Hillary Clinton activity by a 5:1 ratio by Election Day. And many of those auto-Trumpkins…

Continue Reading

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

The project’s research on the 2016 US election was covered in Wiired. Following the third debate, automated pro-Trump accounts on Twitter pumped out seven times more messages than pro-Clinton accounts. Most of these accounts, it turned out, were powered by chatbots: the newest tool in computational propaganda. “It’s definitely one of the most significant digital aspects of this…

Continue Reading

Social Media’s Increasing Role In The 2016 Presidential Election

The project’s research was discussed on NPR, with an appearance from Project Member Doug Guilebeault. SANDERS: So yeah. Bots are these fake accounts on Twitter that are preprogrammed. There’s a recent study that found between the first and second presidential debates, one-third of pro-Trump tweets and almost one-fifth of pro-Clinton tweets came from bots. And…

Continue Reading

1 2