Philosophy of Fake News
2019, Summit Confronting the Disinformation Age, Media + Information
About Confronting the Disinformation Age
SFU Public Square’s 2019 Community Summit considered how the proliferation of disinformation is impacting society and challenging our capacity to make informed decisions about our economic, social, and political lives. Together, we co-created strategies to ensure stronger and healthier information ecosystems and stimulate more connected and resilient communities.
The Disinformation Age
Information is fundamental to our existence. Without it, we cannot understand or effectively respond to the events that shape our world. Throughout history, campaigns to deliberately spread false information to influence public opinion or obscure the truth have been launched by individuals, organizations, and governments. But today, we’re living in a new age of information facilitated primarily by digital technology. These advancements offer us extraordinary access to facts and data but also allow for harmful, inaccurate, and manipulated information to be created and disseminated at an unprecedented speed, scope, and scale. Falsehoods are pitted against facts in competition for our attention and technology is used to exploit our cognitive functioning without repercussion. In what is being called the “post-truth” era, the distortion of our information landscape is eroding our trust in institutions, political systems, the media, and each other.
Associate Professor, Department of Philosophy, Simon Fraser University
Endre Begby has wide-ranging interests in philosophy, and his current work focuses on social epistemology, the cognitive underpinnings of language and communication, and social and political philosophy. He is completing a book tentatively titled: Prejudice: A Study in Non-Ideal Epistemology, which brings together these interests.
Professor, Department of Philosophy, University of Toronto
Jennifer Nagel is the author of Knowledge: A Very Short Introduction, and dozens of papers on historical and contemporary topics in epistemology. Much of her recent work focuses on our natural instincts about what other people know, looking at what these instincts can tell us about knowledge itself. The videos in her “Theory of Knowledge” series, produced by Wireless Philosophy, have had over one million views on YouTube.