Political Bots

Project on Algorithms, Computational Propaganda, and Digital Politics

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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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…

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Political Bots and the Manipulation of Public Opinion in Venezuela

Social and political bots have a small but strategic role in Venezuelan political conversations. These automated scripts generate content through social media platforms and then interact with people. In this preliminary study on the use of political bots in Venezuela, we analyze the tweeting, following and retweeting patterns for the accounts of prominent Venezuelan politicians…

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