Democracy and Fake News : Information Manipulation and Post-Truth Politics book cover
1st Edition

Democracy and Fake News
Information Manipulation and Post-Truth Politics

ISBN 9780367479541
Published December 30, 2020 by Routledge
246 Pages 16 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This book explores the challenges that disinformation, fake news, and post-truth politics pose to democracy from a multidisciplinary perspective. The authors analyse and interpret how the use of technology and social media as well as the emergence of new political narratives has been progressively changing the information landscape, undermining some of the pillars of democracy.

The volume sheds light on some topical questions connected to fake news, thereby contributing to a fuller understanding of its impact on democracy. In the Introduction, the editors offer some orientating definitions of post-truth politics, building a theoretical framework where various different aspects of fake news can be understood. The book is then divided into three parts: Part I helps to contextualise the phenomena investigated, offering definitions and discussing key concepts as well as aspects linked to the manipulation of information systems, especially considering its reverberation on democracy. Part II considers the phenomena of disinformation, fake news, and post-truth politics in the context of Russia, which emerges as a laboratory where the phases of creation and diffusion of fake news can be broken down and analysed; consequently, Part II also reflects on the ways to counteract disinformation and fake news. Part III moves from case studies in Western and Central Europe to reflect on the methodological difficulty of investigating disinformation, as well as tackling the very delicate question of detection, combat, and prevention of fake news.

This book will be of great interest to students and scholars of political science, law, political philosophy, journalism, media studies, and computer science, since it provides a multidisciplinary approach to the analysis of post-truth politics.

Table of Contents


Introduction: In Search of Paradigms: Disinformation, Fake News, and Post-Truth Politics

Serena Giusti and Elisa Piras

Part I: Post-Truth Politics and the Challenges to Democracy

1. Reading Arendt to Rethink Truth, Science and Politics in the Era of Fake News

Federica Merenda

2. Inequality in the Public Sphere: Epistemic Injustice, Discrimination and Violence

Elisa Piras

3. Incorporating Intersectionality into AI Ethics

Liza Ireni-Saban and Maya Sherman

4. How Post-Truth Politics Transformed and Shaped the Outcome of the 2016 Brexit Referendum

Jennifer Cassidy

5. Information and Democracy: Fake News as an Emotional Weapon

Matthew Loveless

6. Searching for a Unicorn: Fake News and Electoral Behaviour

Luigi Curini and Eugenio Pizzimenti

7. Once Upon Covid-19: A Tale of Misleading Information Going Viral

Alice Hazelton

Part II: From Disinformation to Post-Truth Politics: Evidences from Russia

8. Lie to Live: The Production of a Faked Reality as an Existential Function of Putin's Regime

Anna Zafesova

9. Playing the Russian Disinformation Game: Information Operations from Soviet Tactics to Putin’s Sharp Power

Francesco Bechis

10. Myths and Realities of Putinism in Post-Truth Politics

Mara Morini

11. Responding to Alleged Russian Interference by Focusing on the Vulnerabilities That Make It Possible

Giorgio Comai

Part III: Dilemmas of Contrasting Disinformation and Fake News

12. Information Spreading and the Role of Automated Accounts on Twitter: Two Case Studies

Guido Caldarelli, Rocco De Nicola, Marinella Petrocchi, and Fabio Saracco

13. Radical-Right Political Activism on the Web and the Challenge for European Democracy: A Perspective from Eastern and Central Europe

Manuela Caiani and Pál Susánszky

14. When a Credible Source turns ‘Fake’: The Relotius Affair and the German System for Combatting Fake News

Mihail Stojanoski

15. "But verifying facts is what we do!": Fact-checking and Journalistic Professional Autonomy

Urban Larssen

16. The EU Code of Practice on Disinformation and the Risk of the Privatisation of Censorship

Matteo Monti

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Serena Giusti is Head of the Programme on Eastern Europe, Russia and Eurasia at Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies in Pisa, Italy, and Senior Associate Research Fellow at the Institute for International Studies (ISPI) in Milan, Italy. She also sits on the Advisory board of Women in International Security (WIIS), Italy.

Elisa Piras is Postdoctoral Fellow in Political Philosophy at Dirpolis Institute at Sant’Anna School for Advanced Studies in Pisa, Italy. Her research focuses on contemporary political liberalism and its international implications for global justice and for democratic foreign policy.