Lucian Blaga University of Sibiu, Faculty of Letters and Arts
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What Is Fake News: A New Definition
Abstract: Fake news is one of the most debated social phenomena of recent years. It has been the subject not only of several attempts at defining it, but also of numerous comparative analyses of prevalent definitions. Nonetheless, the present article fosters the ambition of offering a new definition. The innovation of my definition stems from the fact that it departs from the dominant “hybrid view” on fake news, which considers the defining traits of the phenomenon to be its truth value (i.e., its falseness) and the intention of its author (i.e., to mislead its public). Opposing this view, the present article argues that the producer’s intent is irrelevant in regard to classifying news as fake news. On the contrary, the defining trait of fake news is, alongside the falsehood of its content, the discourse’s perlocutionary force, which invariably entails a call to action addressed to the text’s recipient.
Keywords: fake news, social media, truth value, intention, perlocutionary act.
Citation suggestion: Terian, Simina-Maria. “What Is Fake News: A New Definition.” Transilvania, no. 11-12 (2021): 112-120.