Written Evidence Submitted to the House of Commons-Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee’s Inquiry on Fake News

Fuchs, Christian (2017) Written Evidence Submitted to the House of Commons-Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee’s Inquiry on Fake News. Other. UNSPECIFIED.

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Abstract

Executive Summary This submission provides evidence on four aspects: 1. What do we know about fake news, fake profiles/accounts, and fake attention on social media? 2. What are the causes of fake news, political bots and fake social media accounts? 3. What are the problems and impacts of fake news, political bots and fake accounts? 4. What can be done against fake news culture? This submission gives special attention to the role of online advertising in fake news culture. (§§1.1-1.16) Reports, research and analyses suggest that fake news, automated social media bots that post content online and fake online attention, as well as fake profiles play a significant role in political communication on social media. (§§2.1-2.6) The proliferation of fake news, political bots and fake accounts on social media has interacting economic, political and ideological causes. There are no technological fixes to the problems associated with fake news. (§§3.1-3.5) There are a number of potential problems associated with fake news, political bots and fake accounts that can limit and negatively impact the public sphere: the undermining of human communication’s validity claims; threats to democracy; one-dimensional, instrumental, highly polarised and symbolically/communicatively violent politics; spirals of intensifying political aggression and violence. (§§4.1-4.12) There is a number of feasible measures that can be taken in order to challenge fake news culture. These include: Outlawing targeted and behavioural political online advertising, the substitution of algorithmic activity by paid human work of fact-checkers and knowledge professionals, the legal requirement to introduce a fake news alert button, providing support to new types of online platforms and new formats that decelerate news and political communication and act as slow media, the advancement of and support for public service Internet platforms, giving the BBC an important role in advancing public service Internet platforms that foster advertising-free political debate that challenges fake news, the introduction of an online advertising tax on all ads targeted at users accessing the Internet in the UK in order to provide a resource base for funding public service and alternative Internet platforms that foster a new culture of political debate.

Item Type: Monograph (Other)
Subjects: University of Westminster > Media, Arts and Design
SWORD Depositor: repository@westminster.ac.uk
Depositing User: repository@westminster.ac.uk
Date Deposited: 30 Nov 2017 09:37
Last Modified: 30 Nov 2017 09:37
URI: http://westminsterresearch.wmin.ac.uk/id/eprint/20505

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