Report: Facebook and Twitter are Being Used to Manipulate Public Opinion
From The Guardian:
Propaganda on social media is being used to manipulate public opinion around the world, a new set of studies from the University of Oxford has revealed.
The reports, part of the Oxford Internet Institute’s Computational Propaganda Research Project, cover nine nations also including Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, Poland, Ukraine, and the the United States. They found “the lies, the junk, the misinformation” of traditional propaganda is widespread online and “supported by Facebook or Twitter’s algorithms” according to Philip Howard, Professor of Internet Studies at Oxford.
The researchers found that in the US this took the form of what Samuel Woolley, the project’s director of research, calls “manufacturing consensus” – creating the illusion of popularity so that a political candidate can have viability where they might not have had it before.
The US report says: “The illusion of online support for a candidate can spur actual support through a bandwagon effect. Trump made Twitter centre stage in this election, and voters paid attention.
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, interviewed 65 experts, analyzed tens of millions posts on seven different social media platforms during scores of elections, political crises, and national security incidents. Each case study analyzes qualitative, quantitative, and computational evidence collected between 2015 and 2017 from Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, Poland, Taiwan, Russia, Ukraine, and the United States.
Direct to Computational Propaganda Worldwide Report Resources
Direct to Project Web Site
More Reports From Oxford Computational Computational Propaganda Research Project
- Junk News and Bots During the 2017 UK General Election: What Are UK Voters Sharing Over Twitter?
About Gary Price
Gary Price (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.