Artificially intelligent fake accounts attack politicians and public figures on social media. Conspiracy theorists publish junk news sites to promote their outlandish beliefs. Campaigners create fake dating profiles to attract young voters. We live in a world of technologies that misdirect our attention, poison our political conversations, and jeopardize our democracies. Big data from the social media firms, combined with interviews with internet trolls, bot writers and political operatives, demonstrates how misinformation gets produced, distributed and marketed. Ultimately, understanding how all the components work together is vital to dismantling such “lie machines” and strengthening democracy.
Bio: Philip N. Howard is a professor and writer. He is the director of the Oxford Internet Institute at Oxford University and is the author, most recently, of “Lie Machines: How to Save Democracy from Troll Armies, Deceitful Robots, Junk News Operations, and Political Operatives from Yale University Press. He blogs from philhoward.org and tweets from @pnhoward.
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