Political Bots

Project on Algorithms, Computational Propaganda, and Digital Politics

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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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….

Continue Reading

Woolley and Guilbeault on Bots in The Atlantic

Director of Research Sam Woolley and affiliate researcher Douglas Guilbealt wrote a piece on how “Bots are Shaping the US Election” for The Atlantic. — There is power in numbers, or so the saying goes. But statistics mean different things to different people. Take Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, for instance. Last week, the conservative…

Continue Reading

These are the Droids You’re Looking For: Bots as a Tool For Journalism

This originally appeared as “These are the Droids You’re Looking For:  Bots as a Tool For Journalism” by Samuel Woolley and Phil Howard on the National Endowment for Democracy’s Center for International Media Assistance Blog. In today’s data-saturated world journalists often struggle to report on many, if not most, of the potential stories that come across their…

Continue Reading

Prezi: Campaign Bots & The Law

Here is an interactive Prezi on our recent paper “Campaign Bots & The Law”, authored by Ryan Calo, Lisa Manheim, Sam Woolley and Phil Howard.  We identify the ways in which bots, when used by political campaign managers, may make politicians run afoul of election and campaign regulations.

Presentation at SXSW 2016

Project Researchers Samuel Woolley and Phil Howard presented twice at SXSW this year. There was a “Book Reading” of Pax Technica: The “internet of things” is the expanding network of everyday objects—you can expect some 35 billion connected devices by 2020. The internet won’t be about your mobile phone or laptop anymore, it will be dominated…

Continue Reading

Botifesto: How To Think About Bots

This originally appeared as “How to Think About Bots” by Samuel Woolley, danah boyd, Meredith Broussard, Madeleine Elish, Lainna Fader, Tim Hwang, Alexis Lloyd, Gilad Lotan, Luis Daniel Placios, Allison Parrish, Gilad Rosner, Saiph Savage, and Samantha Shorey on February 23rd 2016 on Motherboard. We live in a world of bots. Generally speaking, these sets of…

Continue Reading

Essays on Data & Society Points

Sam Woolley curated a collection of Points/talking bots.  “What is the Value of a Bot?” is a series of essays from a  week-long workshop at Data & Society that led by “Provocateur-in-Residence” Sam Woolley.  The workshop brought together a group of experts to get a better grip on the questions that bots raise for public…

Continue Reading

1 2 3