Algorithms and Automation

Automation is a crucial tool of many disinformation campaigns, while algorithms are the complex sets of rules that affect what we see online. Because algorithms are designed by humans, they may reproduce biases and ideologies while making those biases seem naturalResearchers are also exploring how algorithms and automation can be used to study misinformation or counter malicious uses of the same kinds of tools. 

Live Research Review

Forthcoming

This Live Research Review is scheduled for publication in the coming months. In the meantime, you can find articles related to this topic in our Citation Library.

Teaching & Learning

Explore course modules, handouts, teaching tools and syllabi about dis- and misinformation.

Latest News on Algorithms and Automation

It’s a truism that we live in a “digital age”. It would be more accurate to say that we live in an algorithmically curated era – that is, a period when many of our choices and perceptions are shaped by machine-learning algorithms that nudge us in directions favoured by those who employ the programmers who […]

It’s time to rethink engagement metrics, say the authors of a paper published last week in the Harvard Kennedy School’s Misinformation Review. Mihai Avram, Nicholas Micallef, Sameer Patil, and Filippo Menczer found that “the display of social engagement metrics” — visible displays of how many times a piece of content has been liked and shared, […]

As people around the world turn towards search engines to access information about COVID-19, it is important to understand why and how users are being exposed to junk news content. In this memo, we examine the role of search engines and their optimization processes in directing traffic towards junk news & disinformation about COVID-19, and […]

TikTok challenged its competitors on transparency. But what does that actually mean? Hours before the House antitrust subcommittee hearing featuring testimony from the CEOs of Facebook, Google, Amazon, and Apple, a blog post from TikTok chief executive Kevin Mayer proclaimed that all platforms should “disclose their algorithms, moderation policies, and data flows to regulators” and […]

Face masks are one of the best defenses against the spread of COVID-19, but their growing adoption is having a second, unintended effect: breaking facial recognition algorithms. Wearing face masks that adequately cover the mouth and nose causes the error rate of some of the most widely used facial recognition algorithms to spike to between […]

Featured Scholars

Professor and Deputy Director of the Centre for Applied Criminology at Birmingham City University
Associate Professor in the School of Journalism and the Department of Sociology (by courtesy), University of Texas at Austin
Harvard Kennedy School, Technology and Social Change Research Project
Associate Professor, Dept. of Information Studies, Dept. of African American Studies, UCLA