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 prevalence and technical relevance of machine learning algorithms have increased over the years, making predictive decisionmaking tools part of the everyday lives of online users. Today, it is harder to discern what decisions are made by humans, and the others that rely upon the cognition of machines. Most users are unaware of the widespread […]

The 2016 U.S. election was a wake-up call about the dangers of political misinformation on social media. With two more election cycles rife with misinformation under their belts, social media companies have experience identifying and countering misinformation. However, the nature of the threat misinformation poses to society continues to shift in form and targets. The […]

The construction of authentic-feeling yet untrue information, content, experiences, and relations is central to successful mis/disinformation campaigns. The most outrageous lies can catalyze opinions, behaviours and actions–as long as they appear authentic in spirit, or come from a place or person that feels authentic. Authenticity is the lever of the mis/disinformation complex: it is cultivated […]

A Primer on AI in/from the Majority World is a curated collection of over 160 thematic works that serve as pathways to explore the presence of artificial intelligence and technology in the geographic regions that are home to the majority of the human population. Instead of assuming that knowledge and innovations move out of the […]

In February 2021, Facebook abruptly wiped all of the news from its platform in Australia. The country’s lawmakers were trying to force the company to share its profits with media outlets, and this was the dramatic response. The gambit worked: After a nearly week-long blackout, which extended to pages from Australian nonprofits and government services, […]

Featured Scholars

Associate Professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Wisconsin-Madison
Associate Professor in the School of Journalism and the Department of Sociology (by courtesy), University of Texas at Austin
Associate Professor, Dept. of Information Studies, Dept. of African American Studies, UCLA