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  • Evidence of humans, not 'bots,' key to uncovering disinformation campaigns

    Illinois professor JungHwan Yang and fellow researchers found ways to spot online political disinformation campaigns.

    U. of I. communication professor JungHwan Yang focuses on how people relate to politics in the new media landscape. Yang and his research colleagues found that online political “astroturfing,” which he says was a key component of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. elections, is easier to spot by looking for digital traces of the human activity that makes it work.

    Photo by L. Brian Stauffer

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  • Editor's notes:

    To reach JungHwan Yang (pronounced JUHNG-hwahn Yang), call 217-300-7139; email junghwan@illinois.edu; Twitter @junghwanyang.

    The paper on the South Korean research, “Political astroturfing on Twitter: How to coordinate a disinformation campaign,” is available here or from the News Bureau.

    Other co-authors on the paper were Franziska B. Keller, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology; David Schoch, University of Manchester; and Sebastian Stier, GESIS-Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences in Cologne, Germany.

    DOI: 10.1080/10584609.2019.1661888