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The Problem of Fake News

Public Reason 8 (1-2):65-79 (2016)

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  1. Schlechte Nachrichten: Fake News in Politik und Öffentlichkeit.Romy Jaster & David Lanius - 2020 - In Michael Harnischmacher, Elfi Heinke, Ralf Hohlfeld & Michael Sengl (eds.), Fake News und Desinformation: Herausforderungen für die vernetzte Gesellschaft und die empirische Forschung. Baden-Baden: Nomos. pp. 245-267.
    Das Funktionieren moderner Demokratien hängt von der Informiertheit der Öffentlichkeit ab. Durch den Erfolg von Fake News und post-faktischer Politik ist die Informiertheit der Öffentlichkeit jedoch in Gefahr, zumal parallele Öffentlichkeiten zunehmend sogenannte alternative analoge und digitale Medienangebote nutzen. In diesem Beitrag untersuchen wir, wie sich Fake News verbreiten und Einfluss auf Öffentlichkeit und Politik gewinnen. Dazu analysieren wir das Zusammenspiel einer Reihe kognitiver Verzerrungen mit der Funktionsweise sozialer Medien sowie die strukturellen Anreize, die der digitalisierte Medienkapitalismus setzt. Beides spielt (...)
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  • Challenges Kenyan Television Journalists Face in Spotting Fake News.Kabucua John Mutugi - 2020 - Journal of Development and Communication Studies 7 (1).
    A fake news story can travel half way across the world as the truth puts on its socks. There are myriads of challenges facing journalists in spotting fake news hence its wide proliferation. Fake news has become a prominent subject of enquiry especially following its alleged influence of the 2016 general elections in US. Unfortunately, research on fake news has focused on social media, politics, elections, and economies. Few studies have focused on the challenges that TV journalists face in spotting (...)
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  • What is Fake News?Nikil Mukerji - 2018 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 5:923-946.
    An important way in which philosophy can contribute to public discourse is by clarifying concepts that are central to it. This paper is a philosophical contribution in that spirit. It offers an account of fake news—a notion that has entered public debate following the 2016 US presidential election. On the view I defend, fake news is Frankfurtian bullshit that is asserted in the form of a news publication. According to Frankfurt’s famous account, bullshit has two characteristics. There is, firstly, an (...)
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  • Consuming Fake News: Can We Do Any Better?Michel Croce & Tommaso Piazza - 2023 - Social Epistemology 37 (2):232-241.
    This paper focuses on extant approaches to counteract the consumption of fake news online. Proponents of structural approaches suggest that our proneness to consuming fake news could only be reduced by reshaping the architecture of online environments. Proponents of educational approaches suggest that fake news consumers should be empowered to improve their epistemic agency. In this paper, we address a question that is relevant to this debate: namely, whether fake news consumers commit mistakes for which they can be criticized and (...)
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  • Different Roles for Multiple Perspectives and Rigorous Testing in Scientific Theories and Models: Towards More Open, Context-Appropriate Verificationism.Peter Cariani - 2022 - Philosophies 7 (3):54.
    A form of context-appropriate verificationism is proposed that distinguishes between scientific theories as evolving systems of ideas and operationally-specified, testable formal-empirical models. Theories undergo three stages : a formative, exploratory, heuristic phase of theory conception, a developmental phase of theory-pruning and refinement, and a mature, rigorous phase of testing specific, explicit models. The first phase depends on Feyerabendian open possibility, the second on theoretical plausibility and internal coherence, and the third on testability. Multiple perspectives produce variety necessary for theory formation, (...)
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  • “Isso é verdade?” – a “infodemia” da pandemia: considerações sobre a desinformação no combate à COVID-19.Victor André Pinheiro Cantuário - 2020 - Investigação Filosófica 11 (2):175.
    O presente trabalho trata do tema “desinformação na pandemia da COVID-19”, identificando como problema se notícias falsas realmente têm causado algum impacto no combate à doença. Para isso, tem como objetivo discutir alguns aspectos explorados por notícias falsas como a origem do vírus, as formas de propagação e tratamentos disponíveis. A fim de cumprir o referido objetivo, recorre à consulta a notícias disponíveis _on-line_ e veiculadas por sítios da imprensa formal, bem como faz uso do suporte de Foucault, Janich, Levinson, (...)
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  • The signaling function of sharing fake stories.Marianna Bergamaschi Ganapini - 2021 - Mind and Language (1):64-80.
    Why do people share or publicly engage with fake stories? Two possible answers come to mind: (a) people are deeply irrational and believe these stories to be true; or (b) they intend to deceive their audience. Both answers presuppose the idea that people put the stories forward as true. But I argue that in some cases, these outlandish (yet also very popular) stories function as signals of one's group membership. This signaling function can make better sense of why, despite their (...)
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  • Defining Fake News.Glenn Https://Orcidorg Anderau - 2021 - Kriterion – Journal of Philosophy 35 (3):197-215.
    Fake news is a worrying phenomenon which is growing increasingly widespread, partly because of the ease with which it is disseminated online. Combating the spread of fake news requires a clear understanding of the nature of fake news. However, the use of the term in everyday language is heterogenous and has no fixed meaning. Despite increasing philosophical attention to the topic, there is no consensus on the correct definition of “fake news” within philosophy either. This paper aims to bring clarity (...)
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  • Wie sollten Lehrende mit Fake News und Verschwörungstheorien im Unterricht umgehen?David Lanius - 2021 - In Johannes Drerup, Miguel Zulaica Y. Mugica & Douglas Yacek (eds.), Dürfen Lehrer ihre Meinung sagen? Demokratische Bildung und die Kontroverse über Kontroversitätsgebote. pp. 188-208.
    Heute gibt es kaum jemanden mehr, der nicht mit Fake News und Verschwörungstheorien in Berührung gekommen wäre. Mit dem globalen Aufstieg des modernen Populismus und besonders seit Donald Trumps US-Präsidentschaft konnten sie von obskuren Internetfo-ren und dem Rand der Gesellschaft weiter als je zuvor in die öffentliche Debatte vordringen. Mit der zunehmenden Nutzung sozialer Medien und Messenger-Apps wie Telegram oder WhatsApp findet scheinbares Wissen ungehindert Verbreitung und direkten Zugang zu den Smartphones und Köpfen der Menschen. Vor diesem Hintergrund ist es (...)
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  • Politische Bildung für die digitale Öffentlichkeit: Umgang mit politischer Information und Kommunikation in digitalen Räumen.Manuel S. Hubacher & Monika Waldis (eds.) - 2021 - Wiesbaden, Deutschland: Springer.
    In diesem Open-Access-Sammelband setzen sich Autor*innen aus unterschiedlichsten Disziplinen mit der Auswirkung einer digitalisierten Öffentlichkeit für die Politische Bildung auseinander. Sie erörtern, wie sich die Formen digitaler politischer Kommunikation auswirken, wie der Politikunterricht mit der veränderten Ausgangslage umgehen könnte und welche Kompetenzen Schüler*innen benötigen, um in der digitalen Öffentlichkeit selbstbestimmt und -ermächtigt politisch teilzuhaben. Die Komplexität und die Interdependenzen digitaler Kommunikation verlangen nach einer multiperspektivischen und transdisziplinären Perspektive, der dieser Band verpflichtet ist.
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  • ”That’s Just a Conspiracy Theory!”: Relevant Alternatives, Dismissive Conversational Exercitives, and the Problem of Premature Conclusions.Rico Hauswald - 2023 - Social Epistemology 37 (4):494-509.
    Drawing on the relevant alternatives framework and Mary Kate McGowan’s work on conversational scorekeeping, I argue that usage of the term ‘conspiracy theory’ in ordinary language and public discourse typically entails the performance of what I call a dismissive conversational exercitive, a kind of speech act that functions to exclude certain propositions from (or prevent their inclusion in) the set of alternatives considered relevant in a given conversational context. While it can be legitimate to perform dismissive conversational exercitives, excluding alternatives (...)
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  • Calling the news fake: The underlying claims about truth in the post-truth era.Thomas Hainscho - 2023 - Philosophy and Social Criticism 49 (7).
    This article deals with the question about the conditions for someone to call something ‘fake news’. It examines cases in which something is called fake news and analyses these cases from an ordinary language point of view as speech acts. Doing so, the analysis explains fake news as the expression of a dissent. The analysis avoids problems of recent attempts to provide a definition of fake news and argues against the view that fake news belong to a so-called post-truth era. (...)
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  • Stop Talking about Fake News!Joshua Habgood-Coote - 2019 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 62 (9-10):1033-1065.
    Since 2016, there has been an explosion of academic work and journalism that fixes its subject matter using the terms ‘fake news’ and ‘post-truth’. In this paper, I argue that this terminology is not up to scratch, and that academics and journalists ought to completely stop using the terms ‘fake news’ and ‘post-truth’. I set out three arguments for abandonment. First, that ‘fake news’ and ‘post-truth’ do not have stable public meanings, entailing that they are either nonsense, context-sensitive, or contested. (...)
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  • Fake news, conceptual engineering, and linguistic resistance: reply to Pepp, Michaelson and Sterken, and Brown.Joshua Habgood-Coote - 2022 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 65 (4):488-516.
    ABSTRACT In Habgood-Coote : 1033–1065) I argued that we should abandon ‘fake news’ and ‘post-truth’, on the grounds that these terms do not have stable public meanings, are unnecessary, and function as vehicles for propaganda. Jessica Pepp, Eliot Michaelson, and Rachel Sterken and Étienne Brown : 144–154) have raised worries about my case for abandonment, recommending that we continue using ‘fake news’. In this paper, I respond to these worries. I distinguish more clearly between theoretical and political reasons for abandoning (...)
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  • On the safety and danger of ‘viral’ information from the perspective of the epistemological subject.Peter Gurský - 2021 - Ethics and Bioethics (in Central Europe) 11 (3-4):126-141.
    The present paper addresses the formal perspective of information with the focus on ‘untrue’ information presented as dangerous. Grounded in perspectivism, the epistemic subject is understood as decisive in informational transfer. In this context, ethics should focus on how the epistemic subject receives information. Regarding wide-spread information, the notions of danger and safety, the latter being a reaction to the former, essentially result from the fear mechanism of affective neural systems in higher mammals. The practice of attaining safety by eliminating (...)
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  • Fake News: A Definition.Axel Gelfert - 2018 - Informal Logic 38 (1):84-117.
    Despite being a new term, ‘fake news’ has evolved rapidly. This paper argues that it should be reserved for cases of deliberate presentation of false or misleading claims as news, where these are misleading by design. The phrase ‘by design’ here refers to systemic features of the design of the sources and channels by which fake news propagates and, thereby, manipulates the audience’s cognitive processes. This prospective definition is then tested: first, by contrasting fake news with other forms of public (...)
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  • Fake News and Epistemic Vice: Combating a Uniquely Noxious Market.Megan Fritts & Frank Cabrera - 2022 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association (3):1-22.
    The topic of fake news has received increased attention from philosophers since the term became a favorite of politicians (Habgood-Coote 2016; Dentith 2016). Notably missing from the conversation, however, is a discussion of fake news and conspiracy theory media as a market. This paper will take as its starting point the account of noxious markets put forward by Debra Satz (2010), and will argue that there is a pro tanto moral reason to restrict the market for fake news. Specifically, we (...)
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  • Misinformation and Intentional Deception: A Novel Account of Fake News.Michel Croce & Tommaso Piazza - 2021 - In Maria Silvia Vaccarezza & Nancy Snow (eds.), Virtues, Democracy, and Online Media: Ethical and Epistemic Issues. Routledge.
    This chapter introduces a novel account of fake news and explains how it differs from other definitions on the market. The account locates the fakeness of an alleged news report in two main aspects related to its production, namely that its creators do not think to have sufficient evidence in favor of what they divulge and they fail to display the appropriate attitude towards the truth of the information they share. A key feature of our analysis is that it does (...)
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  • Sie sind Fake News! Ein analytischer Zugang für die Politische Bildung.Manuel S. Hubacher - 2021 - In Manuel S. Hubacher & Monika Waldis (eds.), Politische Bildung für die digitale Öffentlichkeit: Umgang mit politischer Information und Kommunikation in digitalen Räumen. Wiesbaden, Deutschland: Springer. pp. 153-173.
    Dieser Beitrag greift das Phänomen Fake News auf und plädiert für einen analytischen Zugang zur Thematik. Zunächst grenzt er den Begriff der Fake News von anderen Phänomenen ab. Er zeigt auf, dass der Begriff nicht nur keinen analytischen Mehrwert bietet, sondern dass er die eigentlichen Probleme verschleiert und als Propagandabegriff u.a. Verwendung findet, um Zensur zu rechtfertigen und die Gegenseite zu delegitimieren. Trotzdem sollte die Politische Bildung nicht vollkommen auf den Begriff verzichten. Versteht man Fake News als einen fließenden Signifikant (...)
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  • What is fake news?Romy Jaster & David Lanius - 2018 - Versus 2 (127):207-227.
    Recently, the term «fake news» has become ubiquitous in political and public discourse and the media. Despite its omnipresence, however, it is anything but clear what fake news is. An adequate and comprehensive definition of fake news is called for. We take steps towards this goal by providing a systematic account of fake news that makes the phenomenon tangible, rehabilitates the use of the term, and helps us to set fake news apart from related phenomena. (You can email us for (...)
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  • Making a Video Documentary on Fake News and Disinformation in Bangladesh: Critical Reflections and Learning.Md Mahmudul Hoque - 2022 - Advances in Journalism and Communication 10 (2):136-148.
    The issue of fake news and disinformation remains widespread in Bangladesh. The author produced a video documentary “Making OR Faking” that focuses on how this issue affects journalism practices in the mainstream media in Bangladesh. In this piece, the author reflects on how the making of the documentary shaped his understanding of the issue. Undertaking a qualitative approach, the author used semi-structured interviews to explore the insights and perspectives of key informants. Critical reflections on the methodological aspects of the filmmaking (...)
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  • Epistemologia delle fake news.Tommaso Piazza & Michel Croce - 2019 - Sistemi Intelligenti 31 (3):433-461.
    Questo articolo prende in esame il fenomeno della proliferazione di fake news da un punto di vista filosofico—anzi, per meglio dire, prettamente epistemologico—con particolare attenzione a tre questioni fondamentali: cosa sono le fake news e come debbano essere definite; quali meccanismi ne favoriscono la proliferazione sui social media; chi debba essere ritenuto responsabile e degno di biasimo nel processo sotteso alla generazione, pubblicazione e diffusione di fake news. A partire dall'analisi dei principali lavori nella letteratura filosofica sul tema, ci proponiamo (...)
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  • Qual a motivação para se defender uma teoria causal da memória?César Schirmer Dos Santos - 2018 - In Juliano Santos do Carmo & Rogério F. Saucedo Corrêa (eds.), Linguagem e cognição. Pelotas: NEPFil. pp. 63-89.
    Este texto tem como objetivo apresentar a principal motivação filosófica para se defender uma teoria causal da memória, que é explicar como pode um evento que se deu no passado estar relacionado a uma experiência mnêmica que se dá no presente. Para tanto, iniciaremos apresentando a noção de memória de maneira informal e geral, para depois apresentar elementos mais detalhados. Finalizamos apresentando uma teoria causal da memória que se beneficia da noção de veritação (truthmaking).
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  • From Public Space to Public Sphere: Discerning the Public Value of the Internet.Ian Anthony Davatos - 2018 - Social Ethics Society Journal of Applied Philosophy 4 (2):75-94.
    Can the internet be a public space, and eventually a public sphere? The main aim of this paper is to explore the answer to this question. First, I distinguish a public space from a public sphere. Then, I elucidate what Jean Baudrillard meant by murder of reality, specifically in the context of digital media. Baudrillard’s concept of hyperreality has captured the difficulties of the internet as a communication tool, but as he is bleak on his assessments, his view also suggests (...)
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