The Narrative of Fake News



TOK TOPICS:   Language , Reason , Faith , Ethics and Human Sciences


Case Description: The term “ Fake News “ raises questions on trust in the media. The term is used to describe not merely misreported facts but news that is outright fictional, with added sensational elements to drown and dominate the real news. There are sensational click-bait stories that are fabricated for profit through the advertising revenue. The kinds of false news include honest mistakes, misinformation, misleading and partisan treatment with motivations that are political, social, psychological, and financial in nature. Distinguishing and discerning the truth in this complex web is challenging.


TOK LINK: The fake News case , apart from apparent link to Ethics , offers an example of the interaction between concepts and Language. We have to use Critical Thinking tools to differentiate between facts, opinion, speculation, and outright fiction. Opposing groups use the same terms to mean different things , employ particular terminology to use over and over to create their own Reason . Cognitive scientists have found that such repetition, though completely Irrational turns out to be persuasive and eventually credible. In this case “ Fake News” becomes an accusatory label applied to information one rejects because it is contrary to one’s own position or interests as well. Though some of the solutions might lie in technological fixes and regulation, with social media platforms, the larger and permanent solutions depend on human alertness and critical thinking.

Sample KQs:


How does Critical Thinking help in overcoming the pitfalls of “ Fake news”?



How far do you agree that “ Fake News” is highly unethical ?