Political Bots

Project on Algorithms, Computational Propaganda, and Digital Politics

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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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….

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How pro-Trump Twitter bots are still manipulating the 2016 conversation

During the third and final presidential debate of the 2016 election, Twitter was flooded with jokes about nasty women and bad hombres. Political pundits, both professional and amateur, battled it out on the field of ideas—which, at this point in the national political discourse, consisted of a lot of juvenile name-calling. It was alternatively chaotic…

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Inside Trump’s ‘cyborg’ Twitter army

When Donald Trump confronted revelations that he used money from his charitable foundation to settle private legal disputes and purchase portraits of himself, a tireless army of tweeters went to work to keep the focus on Hillary Clinton’s foundation instead. Then Trump stumbled on a debate question about why he refuses to release his taxes,…

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