Consuming Fake News: Can We Do Any Better?

Social Epistemology (forthcoming)
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Abstract

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 that they could easily avoid by reforming their doxastic conduct. Proponents of structural approaches, like R. Rini and B. Millar, have defended in different ways a negative answer to this question. In this paper, we criticize their views and suggest that individual users could improve on their epistemic practice by widening their information diet.

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Michel Croce
Università degli Studi di Genova

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