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 than much existing literature on the topic. 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.
ABOUT THE SERIES: The ‘What Do We Know and What Should We Do About...?' series offers readers short, up-to-date overviews of key issues often misrepresented, simplified or misunderstood in modern society and the media. Each book is written by a leading social scientist with an established reputation in the relevant subject area. The Series Editor is Professor Chris Grey, Royal Holloway, University of London