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

Elon Musk’s tweet saying his planned Twitter Inc. acquisition was on hold put the spotlight on questions about fake accounts, which have vexed social-media platforms for years. Mr. Musk, the chief executive officer of Tesla Inc., said in a tweet early Friday that his $44 billion deal to buy Twitter was “temporarily on hold pending […]

In June 2021, Alita, a trans woman living in Saudi Arabia, saw a hashtag trending on Twitter that translated roughly to “a space for hatred of religion.” In a Twitter Spaces audio room days earlier, Alita, who asked Rest of World to use her screen name for her safety, had spoken frankly about atheism and […]

Elon Musk’s accepted bid to purchase Twitter has triggered a lot of debate about what it means for the future of the social media platform, which plays an important role in determining the news and information many people – especially Americans – are exposed to. Musk has said he wants to make Twitter an arena […]

A location data firm is selling information related to visits to clinics that provide abortions including Planned Parenthood facilities, showing where groups of people visiting the locations came from, how long they stayed there, and where they then went afterwards, according to sets of the data purchased by Motherboard. The data sale is obviously more […]

Developers of artificial intelligence must learn to collaborate with social scientists and the people affected by its applications. Beginning in 2013, the Dutch government used an algorithm to wreak havoc in the lives of 25,000 parents. The software was meant to predict which people were most likely to commit childcare-benefit fraud, but the government did […]

Featured Scholars

Research Program Manager at the Microsoft Learning Innovation Lab
Associate Professor in the School of Journalism and the Department of Sociology (by courtesy), University of Texas at Austin
University of Texas-Austin: School of Journalism, Assistant Professor UT Center for Media Engagement, Program Director
Associate Professor, Dept. of Information Studies, Dept. of African American Studies, UCLA