Misinformation and Intentional Deception: A Novel Account of Fake News

In Maria Silvia Vaccarezza & Nancy Snow (eds.), Virtues, Democracy, and Online Media: Ethical and Epistemic Issues. Routledge (forthcoming)
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Abstract
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 not require that fake news must be circulated with the intention to deceive one’s audience. In this way, our account overcomes a potential limitation of the current philosophical discussion about fake news, which appears to individuate the main problem with this phenomenon in the fact that fake news consumers are misled and misinformed. In contrast, the proposed analysis shows that an additional (and perhaps equally fundamental) problem uncovered by the spread of fake news is a widespread pathological relationship with information, one on which we consume information not to satisfy our interest in the truth but to strengthen our social identities and quench our hunger for social recognition.
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Archival date: 2021-04-26
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