Former Research Assistant
Samuel Woolley was the Director of Research of the Computational Propaganda project, and left the OII to become Assistant Professor at the University of Texas.
The project’s research on the 2016 US election was covered in Wired.
But how many of these are bots? According to Sam Woolley, a researcher from Oxford University’s Project on Computational Propaganda (which has not been peer reviewed), about 50 to 55 percent of Clinton’s Twitter activity—the likes, follows, and retweets she gets—is from bots, which is typical for high-profile public figures. But Trump’s automated Twitter activity, according to Woolley, is a much higher 80 percent.
The content these bots generate is enormous. In the last debate alone, bots accounted for nearly 25 percent of debate-related tweets, the Project on Computational Propaganda found. Roughly one in four debate tweets was from a bot. And pro-Trump activity has only intensified as the election campaign has gone on. By the third debate, bots posting pro-Trump tweets outnumbered pro-Clinton bot tweets 7 to 1.
“Never have we seen such an all-out bot war,” wrote Woolley.