Samuel Woolley

University of Texas-Austin: School of Journalism, Assistant Professor UT Center for Media Engagement, Program Director

Dr. Samuel Woolley is an Assistant Professor in the School of Journalism and the program director for propaganda research at the Center for Media Engagement, both at the Moody College of Communication at the University of Texas at Austin. He studies emergent media and political communication, with a particular emphasis on computational propaganda: how automated online tools such as bots and algorithms are used to enable both democracy and civic control.

Woolley is the former Director of Research of the Computational Propaganda Project at the Oxford Internet Institute at Oxford University and the Founding Director of the Digital Intelligence Lab at the Institute for the Future in Palo Alto, CA.

His recent edited collection (co-edited with Philip N. Howard), “Computational Propaganda” (2018/Oxford), is a series on country-based case studies on the use digital tools in attempts to manipulate public opinion. Woolley’s next book, “The Reality Game: How the Next Wave of Technology Will Break the Truth” (2020/PublicAffairs), is a popular press exploration of technology and propaganda. He is currently working on two other books, “Manufacturing Consensus”, with Yale University Press (2021) and “Bots”, with Polity (2021).

His academic work has appeared in a number of peer-reviewed journals and edited volumes including the Journal of Information Technology and Policy, International Journal of Communication, First Monday, The Networked Self series, and the Political Economy of Robots. He has published public work on politics and social media in venues including Wired, Motherboard, TechCrunch, Slate, the Guardian, and the Atlantic. His research has been covered by the New York Times, the Washington Post and CBS News’ Sixty Minutes.

He has current and past research affiliations with Stanford University, UC Berkeley, and Oxford University. He is a former resident fellow at the German Marshal Fund and a former Belfer Fellow at the Anti-Defamation league. He is a former research fellow at the German Marshall Fund, Google Jigsaw, the Tech Policy Lab at the University of Washington and the Center for Media, Data and Society at Central European University. His research has been supported by grants from the Hewlett Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Open Society Foundations, the New Venture Fund for Communications, the Miami Foundation, the Knight Foundation, the Omidyar Network, and others.

His PhD is from the University of Washington. He tweets from @samuelwoolley.

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