Computational Propaganda Worldwide

by Samuel C. Woodley, Philip N. Howard

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The Computational Propaganda Research Project at the Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford, has researched the use of social media for public opinion manipulation. The team involved 12 researchers across nine countries who, altogether, inverviewed 65 experts, analyzed tens of millions of posts on seven different social media platforms during scores of elections, political crises, and national security incidents. Each case study analyzed qualitative, quantitative, and computational evidence collected between 2015 and 2017 from Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, Poland, Taiwan, Russia, Ukraine, and the United States. Computational propaganda is the use of algorithms, automation, and human curation to purposefully distribute misleading information over social media networks. We find several distinct global trends in computational propaganda.