Political Bots

Project on Algorithms, Computational Propaganda, and Digital Politics

Fake News is Widely Shared as the Real Thing

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 Internet Institute (OII) also determined that these users shared approximately as many fake…

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Junk News and Bots during the German Federal Presidency Election: What Were German Voters Sharing Over Twitter?

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 data on bot activity and junk news using a set of hashtags related to the German Federal Presidency…

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Junk News and Bots during the U.S. Election: What Were Michigan Voters Sharing Over Twitter?

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 data on automation and junk news using major hashtags related to politics in the state of Michigan in…

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ComProp on MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Show

Research by team members Bence Kollyani, Phil Howard, and Samuel Woolley was recently featured on the Rachel Maddow show. See more here:

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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Logo of journal Big Data

Call for Papers: Special Issue on Computational Propaganda and Political Big Data

We are pleased to announce a special issue of the journal Big Data dedicated to computational propaganda. This special issue is guest edited by project members Professor Phil Howard and Gillian Bolsover. The deadline for submission is 1 June, 2017 for publication in December 2017. Computational propaganda—the use of information technologies for political purposes—is on…

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Pizza, politics and pure fiction: the rise of fake news

On Sunday 4th December last year, 28 year old father of two Edgar Welch woke early, told his family he had some chores to do, packed an assault rifle into his car and drove from his North Carolina home to Washington DC – where he walked into the Comet Ping Pong pizza restaurant, fired three…

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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…

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Bots and Automation over Twitter during the U.S. Election

Bots are social media accounts that automate interaction with other users, and political bots have been particularly active on public policy issues, political crises, and elections. We collected data on bot activity using the major hashtags related to the U.S. Presidential Election. We find that that political bot activity reached an all-time high for the…

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