Information disorder, fake news and the future of democracy

Monsees, Linda

The terms ‘fake news’ and ‘alternative facts’ have lost their shock value in today’s public discourse and seem to have become part of our normal political vocabulary. Fake news, mis- and disinformation are not a problem of a particular country but are found in politics around the world. In this paper, I look at how disinformation appears as a problem for democracy. Empirically, this paper explores dominant patterns of argumentation with a focus on the US, Germany and Czechia. I discuss the themes of media literacy, hybrid warfare and the emergence of fringe media. This paper argues that more attention needs to be paid to the affectual dimension of why people share fake news. Even though there is no easy solution for dealing with fake news, a first step is to stop denouncing people for believing in fake news and putting all our hope in media literacy.