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What Do We Know and What Should We Do About Fake News?

What Do We Know and What Should We Do About Fake News?

March 2021 | 104 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
Voters need to be informed to make political decisions, but what if their media diet not only prevents them from getting the information they need, but actively shapes inaccurate perceptions of the world?

Drawing on examples and evidence from around the world, this book aims to make a timely intervention to the debate about the concept of fake news. Its underlying argument will have three objectives. First, to offer more precise definitions for a term that is often loosely used. Second, to offer a less technologically determinist view of fake news. New social media platforms, such as Facebook and WhatsApp, are clearly an important part of the story, but they exist in wider social, political and institutional settings. Third, to situate the idea of fake news (and our concern about it) in broader arguments about an ongoing crisis and loss of confidence in liberal democratic institutions. Only with this perspective, it will be argued, can we possibly address the question of what we should do about fake news.
1. Introduction
2. Background
3. What Do We Know?
4. What Should We Do?
5. Conclusion

Concise and comprehensive, Anstead skilfully moves from the Middle Ages to Postmodernism and, all importantly, considers practical solutions to 'fake news'. Essential reading for policy makers, media and anyone who wants to get to grips with this slippery subject. 

Peter Pomerantsev
Visiting Senior Fellow at the Institute of Global Affairs at the London School of Economics

If there was ever a topic that needed careful and thoughtful analysis, it is fake news. This book does exactly this – and then some more. By putting fake news into its historical context, by clarifying the term itself, by locating it within current media and political practice, and by telling us what can be done about it, Nick Anstead has performed an invaluable service.

Professor John Street
University of East Anglia

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