Stop Talking about Fake News!

Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
Abstract
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. Secondly, that these terms are unnecessary, because we already have a rich vocabulary for thinking about epistemic dysfunction. Thirdly, I observe that ‘fake news’ and ‘post-truth’ have propagandistic uses, meaning that using them legitimates anti-democratic propaganda, and runs the risk of smuggling bad ideology into conversations.
Reprint years
2018, 2019
ISBN(s)
PhilPapers/Archive ID
HABSTA
Upload history
First archival date: 2018-07-16
Latest version: 2 (2018-08-09)
View other versions
Added to PP index
2018-07-16

Total views
2,162 ( #1,060 of 53,672 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
310 ( #1,086 of 53,672 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks on external links on PhilPapers.