Fake News and Informing Science

Grandon Gill
Informing Science: The International Journal of an Emerging Transdiscipline  •  Volume 22  •  2019  •  pp. 115-136
The present paper identifies a variety of conceptual schemes that have emerged within informing science and consider how they might be applied to fake news. The paper begins with a brief overview of fake news. This is followed presentations of various models identified in a two-volume survey of informing science. The models presented include those dealing with extrinsic (i.e., environmental) complexity, informing transitions, and individual resonance. The potential implications for informing science research into fake news are discussed and questions that may warrant future research are raised. The paper then concludes by describing what current informing science may already be telling us about fake news, its spread and its influence.

Through its analysis of the fake news and informing science literature, a number of questions are identified where informing science can possibly contribute to our understanding of fake news. These include:

• Does fake news need to disinform its clients if it is to be effective?
• Why are certain groups of individuals particularly credible when it comes to communicating fake news?
• Under what circumstances will the emotional and social motivations to accept fake news exceed our concern for its truth?
• How does the nature of the fake news content and objectives impact the disinformer’s choice of channel?
• What are the circumstances under which radically transitional fake news might have an impact?
fake news, informing science, extrinsic complexity, conceptual scheme
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