The Global Organization of Social Media Disinformation Campaigns

17 September 2018

Columbia SIPA Journal of International Affairs


Social media has emerged as a powerful tool for political engagement and expression. However, state actors are increasingly leveraging these platforms to spread computational propaganda and disinformation during critical moments of public life. These actions serve to nudge public opinion, set political or media agendas, censor freedom of speech, or control the flow of information online. Drawing on data collected from the Computational Propaganda Project’s 2017 investigation into the global organization of social-media manipulation, we examine how governments and political parties around the world are using social media to shape public attitudes, opinions, and discourses at home and abroad. We demonstrate the global nature of this phenomenon, comparatively assessing the organizational capacity and form these actors assume, and discuss the consequences for the future of power and democracy.

Bradshaw, Samantha, and Philip N. Howard. 2018. “The Global Organization of Social Media Disinformation Campaigns.” Journal of International Affairs 71 (January): 23–31.

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