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Spells and Counter-spells: the Irresistible Lure and Resistible Rise of Fake News


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Adam Blackwell ProQuestWhen it comes to what most people think of as fake news(demonstrably false information presented as truth), we are usually willing participants in our own fooling. But there’s another kind of fake news: demonstrably true information that’s presented as false. In this session, we’ll see how political leaders, actors, and other public figures have used this second kind of fake news to immunize themselves from legitimate criticisms. We’ll also see why educators, not engineers, represent our best hope for reclaiming facts and enforcing accountability.

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Spells and Counter-spells: the Irresistible Lure and Resistible Rise of Fake News

  1. 1. UKSG (April 8–10, 2019) Adam Blackwell Irresistible Lure SPELLS Counter-Spellsand Fake News Resistible Rise the and of
  2. 2. Introduction Cambridge Norwich Utah ProQuest
  3. 3. Preamble (Part 1) One PROBLEM BECOMES ANOTHER
  4. 4. The New York Times Problem (2001) University of Utah
  5. 5. Minds Blown!
  6. 6. The New York Times Problem (2019)
  7. 7. Fake News – In Pictures
  8. 8. More Apt Examples
  9. 9. Takeaway 1 (of 3) When you’re talking about fake news, leave the aliens out of it!
  10. 10. The Obvious Kind of Fake News (Part 2) News THAT LOOKS REAL BUT IT ISN’T
  11. 11. Research: John Lott Scandal
  12. 12. Research: John Lott Scandal students-am-being-stalked-please-let-me-carry-gun-to.html
  13. 13. Research: John Lott Scandal
  14. 14. Research: Why Academics Cite Lott Because they WANTto
  15. 15. Research: Studies Demonstrate We Believe What We Want
  16. 16. Research: Bacon Nails It “The human understanding, once it has adopted opinions, either because they were already accepted and believed, or because it likes them, draws everything else to support and agree with them.” – Sir Francis Bacon (1620)
  17. 17. Takeaway 2 (of 3) Bacon summed it all up in 1620. Everything since has been a footnote.
  18. 18. The Other Kind of Fake News (Part 3) News THAT’S CALLED FAKE BUT IT’S REAL
  19. 19. The “Fake News” Cycle “Our problem now is not that fake news is posing as real news but, rather, than real news is being dismissed as fake news.” (January 25, 2017) “It felt like an insight a few weeks ago, but now it’s obvious: the problem is less that we treat fake news as real but, on the contrary, that we treat real news as fake.” (February 19, 2017) This Photo by Unknown Author is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA
  20. 20. Trump’s “Fake News” Defense
  21. 21. Trump’s “Fake News” Defense “While this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him”
  22. 22. Others Follow Suit denied-bet-tca-1201988611/
  23. 23. Others Follow Suit
  24. 24. Others Follow Suit
  25. 25. Others Follow Suit
  26. 26. Others Follow Suit
  27. 27. Others Follow Suit attacks-orchestrated-against-him-by-fake-news/
  28. 28. Others Follow Suit harassment-claims-fake-news-wont-be-demoted-or-docked-pay
  29. 29. Others Follow Suit emails/2018/08/27/id/879011/
  30. 30. Others Follow Suit
  31. 31. Others Follow Suit denies-reports-of-russian-bank-freezing-its-accounts/
  32. 32. Others Follow Suit
  33. 33. Others Follow Suit
  34. 34. Others Follow Suit 2019-terms-document-fake-news/
  35. 35. Rewind: Old-School Denials “It depends on what the meaning of the word is is.”
  36. 36. Rewind: Old-School Denials women-the-high-court-is-told-115875-23252742/ “The claimant has never issued a clear denial or response . . . [His] concern is about the effect of the [revelations of infidelity] on the public image he has so painstakingly constructed for himself.”
  37. 37. Reconfiguring the Aristotelian Triangle
  38. 38. Only Tribal Identity Remains
  39. 39. No Shared Facts Barbara
  40. 40. Keyboard Battles
  41. 41. No Shared Facts Katrina (2005) Harvey (2017)
  42. 42. Two Kinds of Fake News Fake information that looks real Real information dismissed as fake Believe what you want Don’t believe what you don’t want BELIEVE WHAT YOU WANT
  43. 43. Understanding What Drives Both Kinds Of Fake News… Means We Have To Stop Dreaming Of Tech Solutions To Either
  44. 44. Analogy: Unhealthy Food
  45. 45. Conclusion (Part 4) Spells Counter-spells Irresistible lure Resistible rise
  46. 46. The Spell
  47. 47. The Irresistible Lure
  48. 48. The Counter-Spell
  49. 49. The Resistible Rise recruiting-educators/ education-debbie-roper-bryan-premier-high-school why/
  50. 50. Takeaway 3 (of 3) Technology won’t save us. We’re going to have to do this on our own.
  51. 51. THANK YOU! Adam Blackwell