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

Automated devices permeate our lives, from our toasters to Siri. The promise has been that automation and algorithms will make our lives simpler, and help us find the things we want in an increasingly connected world. But we now realize that on social media platforms, algorithms and automation can be used to spread disinformation further and faster.

Teaching & Learning

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

Latest News on Algorithms and Automation

Ashli Babbit, the woman shot and killed January 6 by Capitol police officers, “did not look particularly radical,” according to Tucker Carlson, who covered the event on his Fox News show the following day. “She bore no resemblance to the angry children we have seen wrecking our cities. Pasty, entitled, nihilists dressed in black, setting […]

The Facebook engineer was itching to know why his date hadn’t responded to his messages. Perhaps there was a simple explanation—maybe she was sick or on vacation. So at 10 p.m. one night in the company’s Menlo Park headquarters, he brought up her Facebook profile on the company’s internal systems and began looking at her […]

Governments are using Pegasus, the military-grade spyware sold by the Israeli firm NSO Group, to hack telephones belonging to journalists and dissidents around the world, according to research and reporting by a consortium of newsrooms and human rights organizations. Pegasus was used in the attempted or successful hacking of 37 phones, including devices belonging to […]

I (Devries) recently reached out to someone important in my life whose politics have been slipping further toward harmful, far-right politics. Our conversations had become increasingly strained because of our shared commitment to opposing politics. This person’s unshakable evangelicalism functions in tandem with their faith in Donald Trump’s political and moral virtue, reflective of Trump’s […]

Twitter says it has permanently suspended a “small number” of fake accounts it mistakenly verified just weeks after re-launching its public verification program, the Daily Dot reports. The blunder came to light after data scientist Conspirador Norteño discovered six verified accounts which had been created recently on June 16th. None of them had posted a […]

Featured Scholars

Associate Professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Wisconsin-Madison
Associate Professor, Dept. of Information Studies, Dept. of African American Studies, UCLA
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