Cognitive Authority, Accountability, and the Anatomy of Lies: Experiments to Detect Fake News in Digital Environments

Cognitive Authority, Accountability, and the Anatomy of Lies: Experiments to Detect Fake News in Digital Environments

Maria Aparecida Moura (Federal University of Minas Gerais, Brazil) and Lorena Tavares de Paula (Federal University of Minas Gerais, Brazil)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-2543-2.ch012
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Abstract

This chapter proposes an environment for the discovery of fake news and the orientation of information users in digital environments that correlates the cognitive authorities and the digital structures left as a trace. Such traces can promote the construction of a symbolic index that materializes the anatomy of lies. The model reached in this methodological process may function as a support for informational literacy in the post truth scene, as a space for fostering the informational culture in a network.
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Conceptual And Anatomical Elements Of Lies In Digital Environments

Misinformation, a repertoire term in 1950 in the USSR, has become a social phenomenon with significant repercussions in recent years. It is the deliberate propagation of false content aimed at influencing opinions or weakening individual subjects and institutional contexts. According to Huyghe (2016), misinformation involves a path (contents) and a project (actions that lead to demoralization, destabilization or the degradation of an understanding). Misinformation requires propagation and reception mechanisms. A misinformation project includes semantic, rhetorical and media-oriented components for the purpose of excluding certainties, means and support.

Huyghe (2016) points out that the semantic component aims at shaping a meaning to be disseminated; the rhetoric seeks to persuade decision-making or opinion formation; and the media researchers aim to transmit and propagate information based on communication techniques.

In 2017, the concept of alternative facts was proposed by Kellyanne Conway, an adviser and spokesperson to Donald Trump. At the time, Conway defended the possibility of articulating information conceived as true to alternative facts and information.

Figure 1.

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978-1-7998-2543-2.ch012.f01
Source: Wardle & Derakhshan (2017)

Alternative facts, according to Lehtonen (2018), can be understood in two way: the diffusion of known false information that is presented as true, or an error or mistake that is accepted as true.

Post-truth is, as Ferraris (2019) points out, a symptom of an ongoing revolution, simultaneously technological, social and anthropological. Post-truth establishes epistemic relativism, which means that the idea of truth may vary depending on the context in which the subject is socially situated. Higgins (2016) explains that extreme epistemic relativism makes truth a concept that can vary from person to person by reducing it to the practices of reasoned arguments.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Fake News: Deliberate dissemination of false announcement.

Hypocrisy: Dissimulation or falsifying an intention or feeling.

Omission: Avoid telling the truth by deliberately mentioning only some part of the facts.

Post-Truth: Socio-historical context in which people are prone to believe in alternative facts or fake news.

Erroneous Information: Genuine information whose purpose is to damage someone's reputation.

Lie: Conscious realization of a false statement.

Falsification: The implication or act of false affirmation.

Plagiarism: Infringement of intellectual property.

Insinuation: Subtle suggestion of a version of facts.

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