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

Lawmakers have spent years investigating how hate speech, misinformation and bullying on social media sites can lead to real-world harm. Increasingly, they have pointed a finger at the algorithms powering sites like Facebook and Twitter, the software that decides what content users will see and when they see it. Some lawmakers from both parties argue […]

Almost a year ago, Google took a major step to ensure that its ubiquitous online ad network didn’t put money in the pocket of Steve Bannon, the indicted former adviser to Donald Trump. The company kicked Bannon off YouTube, which Google owns, after he called for the beheading of Anthony Fauci and urged Trump supporters […]

Disinformation has been used in warfare and military strategy over time. But it is undeniably being intensified by the use of smart technologies and social media. This is because these communication technologies provide a relatively low-cost, low-barrier way to disseminate information basically anywhere. The million-dollar question then is: Can this technologically produced problem of scale […]

On Aug. 16, 2019, an anonymous user posted to 4chan’s Politically Incorrect board calling upon fellow 4chan users to impersonate Jewish people online by creating inauthentic social media accounts. In the days that followed, campaign participants created dozens of fake Twitter accounts, many of them posing as rabbis and using stereotypically Jewish names. Twitter quickly suspended the accounts, although not before their owners […]

There is a kind of climate pollution that we can’t see clearly. It isn’t in our rivers, lands or skies, it is in our minds. When climate disinformation goes unchecked, it spreads like wildfire, undermining the existence of climate change and the need for urgent action. In the past year, thousands of articles denying the […]

Featured Scholars

Associate Professor, Dept. of Information Studies, Dept. of African American Studies, UCLA
Harvard Kennedy School, Technology and Social Change Research Project
University of Texas-Austin: School of Journalism, Assistant Professor UT Center for Media Engagement, Program Director
Lecturer in Data Analytics in Social Sciences at the Department of Government and IR (School of Social and Political Sciences) at the University of Sydney