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Fake news: belief in post-truth

Nick Rochlin (University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada)

Library Hi Tech

ISSN: 0737-8831

Article publication date: 18 September 2017

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to illustrate that the current efforts to combat the epidemic of fake news – compiling lists of fake news sites, flagging stories as having been disputed as “fake,” downloading plug-ins to detect fake news – show a fundamental misunderstanding of the issue.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper explores the plummeting believability ratings in conventional news outlets, as well as current efforts to combat fake news. These concepts are situated in the post-truth era, in which news is upsold on the notion of belief and opinion.

Findings

This paper finds that, in combination with a general mistrust of all news, a fundamental flaw in the system of clicks-as-reward allows fake news and other clickbait to gain unobstructed virality.

Originality/value

Fake news is a widely discussed topic right now. As this is primarily an issue of information literacy, library and information professionals need to understand, discuss, and address this issue as one that is directly related to the profession.

Keywords

Citation

Rochlin, N. (2017), "Fake news: belief in post-truth", Library Hi Tech, Vol. 35 No. 3, pp. 386-392. https://doi.org/10.1108/LHT-03-2017-0062

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited