Political Bots

Project on Algorithms, Computational Propaganda, and Digital Politics


Pro-Clinton bots ‘fought back but outnumbered in second debate’

Helped with a BBC story on the battles between candidate bots. The suspected bot accounts tweeted more than 1.7 million times on the days of the debates and the next three days. The study warns they might “polarise” online debate and “muddy” issues. The work was led by Prof Philip Howard, from the University of Oxford’s…

Continue Reading

As Artificial Intelligence Evolves, So Does Its Criminal Potential

Helped with a New York Times story on the role of AI in political and criminal communications. Researchers have coined the term “computational propaganda” to describe the explosion of deceptive social media campaigns on services like Facebook and Twitter. In a recent research paper, Philip N. Howard, a sociologist at the Oxford Internet Institute, and Bence…

Continue Reading


Bot Tweets Influencing U.S. Election

Contributed to this CBC National news story on bots and the election.


Partisan Twitter bots distorting U.S. presidential candidates’ popularity

Our research was featured on the CBC National News, and in this online piece. Thousands of automated accounts — known as bots — flood site with messages for and against candidates.  @loserDonldTrump wasn’t born yesterday. It was actually the day before. Just after 3 p.m. ET on October 18, the baby bot burst into the Twitterverse….

Continue Reading


One in four debate tweets comes from a bot. Here’s how to spot them.

Our research was featured in the Washington Post online: Philip Howard has a fancy name for partisan election bots. He calls them “computational propaganda” — and lately, he sees them a lot.


NETZ­PO­LI­TIK Digitale Dreckschleudern

Our research was featured in Spiegel Online: Automatische Bots verzerren politische Diskussionen in sozialen Netzwerken und können Wahlen beeinflussen. Die Kanzlerin hält sie für gefährlich, die AfD will sie einsetzen.


Donald Trump support during presidential debate was inflated by bots, professor says

Our research was featured in the Independent: The robot tweets helped give the appearance that Mr Trump had more support than he did, according to Professor Howard. That apparent surge in support was referenced repeatedly by Mr Trump, who claimed that despite what the official polling showed he had actually won both of the debates.


A third of pro-Trump tweets are generated by bots

Our research was featured in a piece on the CNN Money site. Donald Trump is more popular than Hillary Clinton on Twitter — with both humans and machines. University researchers who track political activity on Twitter have found that traffic on pro-Trump hashtags was twice as high as pro-Clinton hashtags during the first presidential debate. But the…

Continue Reading


Bots and Automation over Twitter during the Second U.S. Presidential Debate

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 debate. In this brief analysis we find that (1) Twitter traffic on pro-Trump hashtags…

Continue Reading


US election: experts fear Twitter bots could spread lies and sway voters

We contributed to a story by Serina Sandhu at i-News called “US election: experts fear Twitter bots could spread lies and sway voters.”   Authors of the study Bots and Automation over Twitter during the First US Presidential Debate now fear that bots, which have a small but strategic role in driving conversation, could influence undecided voters…

Continue Reading

1 2 3 8