Samuel Woolley

Director of the DigIntel Lab, Institute for the Future; Belfer Fellow, ADL
Samuel Woolley

Samuel Woolley studies emergent technology and political communication. His work examines how automated online tools such as bots and algorithms are used to enable both democracy and civic control. He researches how computational propaganda–the manipulation of public opinion using social media–is used by political groups in attempts to affect the flow of information during major political events. He is currently co-editing a book of case studies entitled Computational Propaganda with Oxford University Press and is working on a manuscript on the future of online propaganda, DIGIPROP, with Public Affairs/Hachette. He has published numerous peer review articles, book chapters, and white papers on the subject on digital politics, propaganda and social media. Woolley is currently serving as Director of the Digital Intelligence Lab at the Institute for the Future. He is the the former Director of Research of the Computational Propaganda Project at Oxford. He is a Belfer Fellow at the ADL and a former research fellow at Jigsaw, Google’s think-tank and incubator and the Tech Policy Lab at the University of Washington’s Schools of Law and Information.

His public work on computational propaganda and social media bots has appeared in venues including Wired, the Guardian, and The Atlantic. For his research, Woolley has been featured in publications such as The New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Guardian and on PBS’ Frontline, BBC’s News at Ten, and ABC’s Today. His work on computational propaganda and bots has been presented to members of the U.S. Congress, the U.K. Parliament, NATO, and others. His B.A. is in anthropology from the University of San Diego, his M.A. is in Cultural Studies from the Claremont Graduate University, and his Ph.D. is in Communication from the University of Washington. His website is samwoolley.org and he tweets from @samuelwoolley.