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

The NYU Ad Observatory released new data this week about the inputs the Trump and Biden campaigns are using to target audiences for ads on Facebook. It’s a jumble of broad and specific characteristics ranging from the extremely wide (“any users between the ages of 18-65”) to particular traits (people with an “interest in Lin-Manuel […]

Over the course of 3 years, a mix of pranksters and extremists (right wing) launched a butterfly attack campaign as part of a meme war to muddy the waters in an organic Black Twitter hashtag, and utilized digital blackface to amplify memes workshopped on 4chan. Overall, the campaign targeted Black activists and communities online in […]

This new position at Data & Society is an opportunity for a mid-career or senior scholar, or team of two scholars, to define and shape a field of inquiry through the commissioning or curating of a body of work related to new perspectives on algorithmic governance and grounded in empirical research. The Public Fellow will […]

Data & Society is seeking a consultant to advise leadership, management, and staff around advancing anti-racist policies at Data & Society. We expect that this individual or organization has the ability to work alongside the Human Resources Manager, the Executive Director, and our organizational managers to guide us through the process of developing a strategic plan with […]

Strategic information operations (e.g. disinformation, political propaganda, and other forms of online manipulation) are critical concerns for researchers in social cyber security. Two strategies, spoofing and astroturfing, are often employed in disinformation campaigns to discredit truthful narratives, confuse audiences, and manipulate opinions by censoring critics’ voices or using one-sided testimonials. This study analyzes patterns of […]

Featured Scholars

Harvard Kennedy School, Technology and Social Change Research Project
Associate Professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Wisconsin-Madison
Professor and Deputy Director of the Centre for Applied Criminology at Birmingham City University