Computational Propaganda Research Project: Algorithms, Automation, and Digital Politics

Computational Propaganda Research Project investigates the use of algorithms, automation, and computational propaganda in public life.

The Problem

Social media is awash in fake news, extremist content, conspiracy theories, hate speech and political propaganda. A lot of this content is the work of unseen political actors spreading “low-quality information” and worse for political purposes, often via “bots” and paid “trolls.” For instance, propaganda and other forms of “junk news” on Twitter flowed more heavily in a dozen battleground states than in the nation overall in the days immediately before and after the 2016 presidential election, suggesting that a coordinated effort targeted at swing voters.

The Solution

Based out of Oxford University, the Computational Propaganda Research Project (COMPROP) investigates the interaction of algorithms, automation and politics. This work includes analysis of how tools like social media bots are used to manipulate public opinion by amplifying or repressing political content, disinformation, hate speech, and junk news. They use perspectives from organizational sociology, human computer interaction, communication, information science, and political science to interpret and analyze the evidence they gather.

Stage of Development

  • Early Stage
  • Established Prototype
  • Scaling
  • Other

Organization to Receive Funds

Computational Propaganda Research Project

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