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Open Access
Article
Publication date: 7 December 2017

Sille Obelitz Søe

With the outset of automatic detection of information, misinformation, and disinformation, the purpose of this paper is to examine and discuss various conceptions of…

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11299

Abstract

Purpose

With the outset of automatic detection of information, misinformation, and disinformation, the purpose of this paper is to examine and discuss various conceptions of information, misinformation, and disinformation within philosophy of information.

Design/methodology/approach

The examinations are conducted within a Gricean framework in order to account for the communicative aspects of information, misinformation, and disinformation as well as the detection enterprise.

Findings

While there often is an exclusive focus on truth and falsity as that which distinguish information from misinformation and disinformation, this paper finds that the distinguishing features are actually intention/intentionality and non-misleadingness/misleadingness – with non-misleadingness/misleadingness as the primary feature. Further, the paper rehearses the argument in favor of a true variety of disinformation and extends this argument to include true misinformation.

Originality/value

The findings are novel and pose a challenge to the possibility of automatic detection of misinformation and disinformation. Especially the notions of true disinformation and true misinformation, as varieties of disinformation and misinformation, which force the true/false dichotomy for information vs mis-/disinformation to collapse.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 74 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

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Article
Publication date: 17 August 2010

John Walsh

Librarians have long been part of a group of professionals that took responsibility for the reliability of information and protected their users from the bad epistemic…

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1768

Abstract

Purpose

Librarians have long been part of a group of professionals that took responsibility for the reliability of information and protected their users from the bad epistemic consequences caused by inaccurate information. Now users are acquiring information from the internet and using it to make important decisions. This method of acquisition is threatening the epistemological protection librarians have provided. The problem is one of verifiability, the users do not have a way to verify whether information is accurate or inaccurate. The verification is even more difficult with disinformation. The purpose of this paper is to explore possible alternatives to this problem and recommend using a new multi‐literacy instructional method as the solution.

Design/methodology/approach

A review of current literature confirmed the problem of disinformation and this paper examines possible solutions to controlling disinformation and makes suggestions on how we, as librarians, can use instruction to protect internet users from the harmful effects of using the false information.

Findings

Research found that disinformation is a widespread problem and its use has epistemic consequences that are harmful to internet users. The paper proposes a new method of instruction using a combination of learning paradigms to help users protect themselves from disinformation.

Originality/value

The paper presents a new instructional method that may help in identifying disinformation and help internet users avoid the bad epistemic consequences of using disinformation.

Details

Library Review, vol. 59 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0024-2535

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Article
Publication date: 13 March 2007

Don Fallis

To provide an introduction to concepts and resources that will be useful to library professionals learning about information ethics.

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12969

Abstract

Purpose

To provide an introduction to concepts and resources that will be useful to library professionals learning about information ethics.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper argues for the importance of information ethics to twenty‐first century library professionals. It describes what various authors have said about how information ethics can be applied to the ethical dilemmas faced by library professionals.

Findings

In order to deal effectively with their ethical dilemmas, library professionals must have a good working knowledge of information ethics. Codes of professional ethics can help to provide such knowledge, but they are not sufficient. Courses on information ethics must be part of the education of information professionals. Such courses should provide library professionals with an understanding of ethical theories and how they apply to concrete practical cases. Such courses should also make explicit the connection between information ethics and the mission of the library professional.

Research limitations/implications

This paper is not intended to provide an exhaustive list of publications on the topic of information ethics and library professionals.

Originality/value

This paper provides library professionals with a concise introduction to information ethics.

Details

Library Hi Tech, vol. 25 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0737-8831

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Article
Publication date: 21 December 2021

Brendan Luyt

The astonishing thing about Wikipedia is that despite the way it is produced, the product is as good as it is and not far worse. But this is no reason for complacency. As…

Abstract

Purpose

The astonishing thing about Wikipedia is that despite the way it is produced, the product is as good as it is and not far worse. But this is no reason for complacency. As others have documented, Wikipedia has representational blind spots, produced by the nature of its editorial community and their discursive conventions. This article wishes to look at the potential effect of sources on certain of these blind spots.

Design/methodology/approach

The author used an extended example, the Wikipedia article on the Philippine–American War, to illustrate the unfortunate effects that accompany a lack of attention to the kind of sources used to produce narratives for the online encyclopaedia. The Philippine–American War article was chosen because of its importance to American history. The war brought to the fore a debate over the future of the USA and the legitimacy of a republic acquiring overseas colonies. It remains controversial today, making it essential that its representation on Wikipedia is soundly constructed.

Findings

Inattention to sources (a lack of bibliographical imagination) produces representational anomalies. Certain sources are privileged when they should not be and others are ignored or considered as sub-standard. Overall, the epistemological boundaries of the article in terms of what the editorial community considers reliable and what the community of scholars producing knowledge about the war think as reliable do not overlap to the extent that they should. The resulting narrative is therefore less rich than it otherwise could be.

Originality/value

While there exists a growing literature on the representational blind spots of Wikipedia (gender, class, geographical region and so on), the focus has been on the composition of the demographics of the editorial community. But equally important to the problem of representation are the sources used by that community. Much literature has been written that seeks to portray the social world of the marginalized, but it is not used on Wikipedia, despite it easily meeting the criteria for reliability set by the Wikipedia community. This is a tragic oversight that makes Wikipedia's aim to be a repository for the knowledge of the world, a laudable goal to strive for, even if in reality unobtainable, even harder to achieve than ever.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 13 March 2007

Kenneth Einar Himma

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425

Abstract

Details

Library Hi Tech, vol. 25 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0737-8831

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Article
Publication date: 1 October 2005

Michael K. Buckland

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698

Abstract

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 61 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

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Article
Publication date: 1 September 2006

David Bawden

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191

Abstract

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 62 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

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Article
Publication date: 4 September 2019

Tim Gorichanaz

Self-documentation is an increasingly common phenomenon, but it is not yet well understood. The purpose of this paper is to provide a philosophical framework for analyzing…

Abstract

Purpose

Self-documentation is an increasingly common phenomenon, but it is not yet well understood. The purpose of this paper is to provide a philosophical framework for analyzing examples of self-documentation on the dimensions of ontology, epistemology and ethics.

Design/methodology/approach

The framework addresses these three major areas of philosophic thought by operationalizing insights from philosophy, chiefly the work of Martin Heidegger. Heidegger’s concepts of authenticity and fallenness inform the poles of each dimension of the framework.

Findings

Ontologically, self-documentation may manifest as document (authentic) or data (fallen); epistemologically, as understanding (authentic) or idle curiosity (fallen); and ethically, as self-care (authentic) or diversion (fallen). These dimensions are presented separately but are understood to be intermingled.

Originality/value

This unified framework offers a lens for examining and comparing cases of self-documentation and self-documents. No such framework has previously been articulated, but given the ubiquity and growing importance of self-documentation, it is needed.

Details

Online Information Review, vol. 43 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1468-4527

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Article
Publication date: 13 February 2017

Nathan Aaron Rinne

Now that the new Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education has replaced the Information Literacy…

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1492

Abstract

Purpose

Now that the new Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education has replaced the Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education, this document will play an increasingly important role. This paper aims to show that in spite of the Framework seeking to provide a deep understanding of information and knowledge, it still falls short – particularly because the statement that “Authority is Constructed and Contextual”, with its failure to acknowledge the significance of truth’s relation to authority, is untenable.

Design/methodology/approach

A philosophical overview dealing with matters of librarianship, knowledge and truth is provided in Section 2. The paper then attempts to demonstrate that the idea of truth is inextricably connected with issues of authority.

Findings

The paper attempts to persuade the reader that the Framework cannot: circumvent the issue of truth (Section 3); avoid attempting to make ethical claims which are true (Section 4); reduce all truth claims to “power-plays” (Section 5); and escape “traditional notions of granting authority” (Section 6).

Practical implications

The Framework should acknowledge the importance of truth, which would, at the very least, necessarily involve revising the frame “Authority is Constructed and Contextual”. Librarians are also encouraged to reflect on the nature of both truth claims and ethical claims.

Social implications

The assumption of a “social constructionist” frame for truth has serious implications for matters going well beyond libraries and their “information resources”.

Originality/value

This paper attempts to offer an important and accessible philosophical analysis of the Framework that will require the engagement of the wider library community.

Details

Reference Services Review, vol. 45 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0090-7324

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Book part
Publication date: 4 November 2021

Nicole A. Cooke

In an April 2018 webinar, the Freedom to Read Foundation asked the question: Do information consumers have the right to be misinformed? Fake news is nuanced, prolific…

Abstract

In an April 2018 webinar, the Freedom to Read Foundation asked the question: Do information consumers have the right to be misinformed? Fake news is nuanced, prolific, sometimes malicious, often automated, and has the added complications of emotion, privacy, and ethics. And unfortunately, fake news and its foundational components of misinformation and disinformation (mis/dis), aren’t quickly fixed by learning a few information literacy strategies or media literacy concepts. People are inclined to believe what they want to believe despite training, awareness of critical thinking, and acknowledgement of widely held “objective facts.” Are they less intelligent or information poor because they choose to exist in their own information worlds and privilege their own confirmation biases?

Individuals have the right to seek, avoid, and use information for themselves as they see fit, regardless of whether or not others deem their information deficient, insufficient, or even false. However, this is a very black and white perspective on a much more complex and nuanced moral issue. Even if it is to their detriment, people ultimately do have the right to be misinformed, choosing the information they will and won’t accept. But information professionals should still be compelled to instruct patrons on the importance of seeking, finding, and using quality information and sources.

Details

Libraries and the Global Retreat of Democracy: Confronting Polarization, Misinformation, and Suppression
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83982-597-2

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