Samuel C. Woolley is an assistant professor at the School of Journalism and Media at The University of Texas at Austin and the program director of the propaganda research team and Knight faculty fellow at the Center for Media Engagement. He is an assistant professor (by courtesy) in UT’s School of Information and a research affiliate at the Project for Democracy and the Internet at Stanford University. He has past affiliations with the Oxford Internet Institute at the University of Oxford and the Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS) at UC Berkeley. He has held research fellowships at the German Marshall Fund, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), Google Jigsaw, the University of Washington’s Tech Policy Lab, and Central European University’s Center for Media, Data, and Society.
Woolley’s research is focused on how emergent technologies are used in and around global political communication. His work on computational propaganda — the use of social media and other digital tools in attempts to manipulate public opinion — has revealed the ways in which a wide variety of political groups in the United States and abroad have leveraged tech such as bots and trending algorithms and tactics of disinformation and trolling in efforts to control information flows online. His projects on digital politics, automation/AI, social media, and political polarization have been funded by Omidyar Network, the Ford Foundation, the Hewlett Foundation, the Open Society Foundations, the New Venture Fund for Communications, and others.