Archive for publications, 2020

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[Commlist] New book: Fake News in an Era of Social Media; Tracking Viral Contagion

Mon Feb 10 16:00:23 GMT 2020

Fake News in an Era of Social Media: Tracking Viral Contagion,

Over the last few years, social media has expanded to become a key platform for news dissemination and circulation, and a key instigator and propagator of 'fake news'. Nations, governments, organisations and societies are now coming to terms with the unpredictable and debilitating consequences of fake news. The propagation of news containing falsehoods has been linked to an increase in measles cases, surges in youth crimes, the spread of pseudo-science, compromised national security, and a global threat to democratic systems around the world. In this book, the authors examine factors influencing the spread of fake news, suggesting ways to combat it by exploring the key elements which enable and facilitate this phenomenon.

The scourge of ‘fake news’ represents pollution in our media ecology, its contamination of journalism threatening the health of democratic deliberation and debate in public life. Investigating its impact is vital, necessarily compelling us to rethink familiar tensions around the presumed ‘objectivity,’ ‘balance’ and ‘fairness’ of ‘real news’ as a matter of urgency. Yasmin Ibrahim and Fadi Safieddine’s edited collection Fake News in an Era of Social Media: Tracking Viral Contagion is a significant intervention, its contributors inspiring us to envisage positive, strategic approaches to challenging ‘post-truth’ disinformation.

— Stuart Allan, Professor and Head of the School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies, Cardiff University

It’s impossible to think of a more pressing topic in politics at present than ‘fake news’ and its impact on citizens around the globe as they seek to make sense of democracy in a digital age. This is a bold, unprecedentedly interdisciplinary and international initiative. Bringing together voices that are rarely heard for an exciting dialog, the editors have produced a text for the ages as well as today. Required reading!

— Toby Miller, New York University

Fake news and disinformation have emerged as THE phenomenon of our era, one which is perceived by many to be a subversive threat to democracy itself. This comprehensive and rigorous analysis captures the essence of a phenomenon at once ancient and modern and explains a world where everything and nothing is believed, a parallel reality where lies are merely alternative truths. These essays of course elucidate the fundamentals- how did we get here, and how can we combat it. But they also unravel the technological mysteries enabling Disinformation and investigate the psychology behind it. This lucid and insightful volume is necessary for anyone, citizen or scholar, who seeks an intelligent exposition of this troubling subject.

— Nicholas O'Shaughnessy, Professor of Communication, Queen Mary University of London School of Business and Management

The editors make a welcome contribution to existing knowledge on fake news, a phenomenon that is simultaneously old yet morphing rapidly into different manifestations in the social media era. Unusually, the collection is genuinely inter-disciplinary bringing together knowledge and approaches from the social sciences with that of computing. The result is an interesting exploration of the theoretical, technical and practical.

— Anita Howarth, Senior Lecturer, Department of Social Sciences, Media and Communication at Brunel University London

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