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.

Latest News on Algorithms and Automation

Michael R. Bloomberg’s presidential campaign has been experimenting with novel tactics to cultivate an online following, or at least the appearance of one. But one of the strategies — deploying a large number of Twitter accounts to push out identical messages — has backfired. On Friday, Twitter began suspending 70 accounts posting pro-Bloomberg content in […]

Over the past four years, Facebook has made a big show of demonstrating how much it cares about democracy and how much it’s doing to combat election interference or fake news. It has assembled “war rooms” and published white papers. It has hired thousands of content moderators (as in, they’re looking at content; they’re actually […]

YouTube Gaming has been clawing its way into streaming platform Twitch’s market share for months. But new data retrieved by WIRED suggests that YouTube Gaming also has a serious problem with scammers and cheat-makers—and lots and lots of bots. In January, all seven of the most-watched YouTube Gaming channels weren’t run by happy gamers livestreaming […]

Trump is kicking the Democrats’ asses. For decades, the theory of communications that undergirded politics was: Politician says something → press covers it → public reads or watches the press’ account of what the politician said. The results of the 2016 election should make it crystal clear that approach is antiquated at best. Political campaigns […]

Every day, platforms like Facebook have to make trade-offs on important social values — between free expression and safety, privacy and law enforcement, and between creating open systems and locking down data. There is rarely a clear “right” answer. Often it is as important that decisions are made in a way that people feel is […]

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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