Seminar Series in Analytic Philosophy 2020-21, Session 14

Consuming Fake News: Can We Do Any Better?
Michel Croce (Dublin/LanCog) & Tommaso Piazza (Pavia/LanCog)

26 February 2021, 16:00 | Online, via Zoom

Abstract: Extant remedies to the online proliferation of fake news range from promoting a reform of individual epistemic conduct to implementing systemic interventions. This paper defends educational approaches from the charge of being motivated by an excessively strict appraisal of the doxastic conduct of social media users. In particular, we address two versions of this charge, according to which the epistemic conduct of social media users is not criticisable because virtuous (Rini 2017) or because fully excused (Millar 2019). For both authors, we should not target individual behaviors but concentrate on reforming institutions and the architecture of online informational environments. We resist both contentions. Contra Rini, we claim that most fake news is beyond the range of application of the virtue of epistemic partisanship. Contra Millar, we argue that most social media users have some control over their informational diet and, for this reason, can be requested to amend their doxastic conduct

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