Philip N. Howard

Director of the Oxford Internet Institute

Philip N. Howard is the Director of the Oxford Internet Institute. He is the lead researcher on the Project on Computational Propaganda, which is investigating the use of algorithms and automation in civic life. Automated scripts, commonly called bots, are used on social media to manipulate conversation, make certain opinions appear more prevalent than they really are, and spread misinformation. He has published eight books and over 100 academic articles, book chapters, conference papers, and commentary essays on information technology, international affairs and public life. His articles examine the role of new information and communication technologies in politics and social development. His research has been cited all over the world, making the front page of the New York Times, Financial Times, Washington Post several times in 2018. Howard has testified to the European Commission and the UK House of Lords, and most recently provided a report to the US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, testifying on the operations of political bots in the United States.

Setting some new election guidelines requires some careful thinking. We have to focus on fundamental mechanisms of participatory democracies, setting aside partisanship and resisting the urge to tackle everything we might dislike in modern political campaigning. As modern political campaigns have moved online, existing regulatory frameworks are unprepared to address complex issues in relation to micro-targeting and covert information operations.
- Philip N. Howard