Gillian Bolsover

Gillian Bolsover is a researcher on the computational propaganda project, investigating the use of bots, algorithms and other forms of automated online political opinion manipulation.


Tel: 01865 287227

Gillian holds a BA in Political Science and Visual Journalism (Photojournalism) from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. After working as a photographer and multimedia producer in the U.S. both freelance and for a daily newspaper, she competed a two-year double masters (MSc/Ma) in Global Media and Communications joint between the London School of Economics and Political Science and Fudan University in Shanghai, China.

After a year working at a media company in Shanghai, she joined the Internet Institute as a DPhil student in 2012. For her thesis research, Gillian investigated the effects of the commercialisation of online spaces on their ability to offer a venue for political speech in different political systems through a comparison of the U.S. and China. After submitting her DPhil in January 2017, Gillian joined the Computational Propaganda project under Professor Phil Howard.

Research interests

Political science; political and social theory; political economy; critical methodologies; communications; sociology and culture; language and linguistics; identity and psychology; privacy, surveillance and censorship

Positions held at the OII

  • Researcher, January 2017 –
  • DPhil Student, October 2012 – January 2017
  • Teaching Assistant, Digital Social Research Methods, October – December 2015
  • Teaching Assistant, Information Visualisation, January – March 2015
  • Teaching Assistant, Digital Social Research Methods, October – December 2014
  • Teaching Assistant, Social Research Methods and the Internet, January – March 2014
  • Research Assistant, Global Centre for Cyber Security Capacity-Building, August 2013 – March 2014
  • Research Assistant, Global Internet Values Project, October 2012 – November 2013

Supervisors at the OII

Latest blog posts

Current projects

  • Computational Propaganda

    Participants: Professor Philip Howard, Sam Woolley, Gillian Bolsover

    This project will focus on how bots, algorithms and other forms of automation are used by political actors in countries around the world.

  • Global Centre for Cyber Security Capacity-Building

    Participants: Professor William H. Dutton, Professor Ian Brown, Gillian Bolsover

    This Oxford-based Centre aims become a leading global resource for understanding how to deliver effective cyber security; OII Fellows Bill Dutton and Ian Brown lead its work on security cultures and regulation.

Past projects


  • Bolsover, G., Dutton, W., Law, G. and Dutta, G. (2014) "China and the US in the New Internet World: A Comparative Perspective" In: Society and the Internet How Networks of Information and Communication are Changing Our Lives. Oxford University Press, USA.

Conference papers

  • Bolsover, G., Blank, G. and Dubois, E. (2014) A New Privacy Paradox: Young People and Privacy on Social Network Sites.
  • Bolsover, G. (2013) News in China’s new information environment: Dissemination patterns, opinion leaders and news commentary on Weibo.
  • Bolsover, G., Dutton, W.H., Law, G. and Dutta, S. (2013) Social Foundations of the Internet in China and the New Internet World: A Cross-National Comparative Perspective.

Journal articles


  • Dutton, W., Law, G., Bolsover, G. and Dutta, S. The Internet Trust Bubble: Global Values, Beliefs and Practices.


  • Howard, P., Bradshaw, S., Kollanyi, B., Desigaud, C. and Bolsover, G. Junk News and Bots during the French Presidential Election: What Are French Voters Sharing Over Twitter?.
  • Howard, P., Bolsover, G., Kollanyi, B., Bradshaw, S. and Neudert, L. Junk News and Bots during the U.S. Election: What Were Michigan Voters Sharing Over Twitter?.
  • Bolsover, G. Constructing the virtual body.