Disinformation and Digital Media as a Challenge for Democracy

Through a collection of expert analyses, this book aims to deepen our understanding of the dangers of fake news and disinformation, while also charting well-informed and realistic ways ahead.
Georgios Terzis, Dariusz Kloza, Elzbieta Kuzelewska, Daniel Trottier
European Integration and Democracy Series
boek | verschenen | 1e editie
juni 2020 | lii + 388 blz.


€ 65,45 € 93,50

ISBN 9781780689753

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"It would be pleasant to think that democracies will always wake up to their threats – internal and external – and heal themselves in good time before it is too late. [...] Yet, it is not too late to find public policy solutions which can restore information technologies to their original role of facilitators of democracy rather than their undertakers. But the timeframe is closing and we need these solutions sooner rather than later.

This is why the present volume of expert analyses bringing together many academics arrives at just the right time. It aspires to deepen our understanding of the dangers of fake news and disinformation, but also charts well-informed and realistic ways ahead. To my mind, it is certainly one of the most comprehensive and useful studies of this topic to date and I recommend it to the general reader as much as to the policy-maker as a reliable guide and mentor."

– from the Foreword by Prof. Dr. Jamie Shea, Brussels School of Governance

"This book is motivated, to a large extent, by some recent troubling developments in public discourse, namely the developments in information and disinformation practices. From the beginning of history, various and diverse means or channels of communication have been used to inform, misinform (unintentionally) and disinform (deliberately). However, in recent decades, the emergence and development of new information and communications technologies (ICT), combined with the ever-increasing digitalisation and globalisation of almost every aspect of modern life, among others, have opened up new and uncharted avenues to that end. This book therefore focuses on disinformation practices occurring with the help of digital media as these practices bring to the fore profound negative ramifications for the functioning of a democratic polity."

– from the Introduction by the Editors

"This collection of original essays provides an expert guide to the new information ecosystem […] It is an extraordinarily useful contribution to scholarly and professional debate about the future of information and communications. […] By mapping and analysing how disinformation works and exploring opportunities for change, the book shines a light on the pathway back to respect for pluralism and fact-based communications upon which European and western democratic life depends."

– Aidan White, Ethical Journalism Network

"'Fake news' has been plaguing more and more aspects of the contemporary world. This is a timely and thought-provoking piece on disinformation and digital media. Both the editors and the authors in this collection do not shy away from taking a critical perspective on this challenge or from developing concrete recommendations for restoring trust in the information we receive, and - in consequence - for restoring trust in democracy."

– Eva Kaili MEP, Panel for the Future of Science and Technology (STOA), European Parliament

'Disinformation and Digital Media as a Challenge for Democracy is a comprehensible and straightforward piece of work, which is definitely of interest for [...] anyone interested in better understanding how the digital media is intertwined with political power in the twenty-first century.'

- Olga Shumilo, Białostockie Studia Prawnicze


Part I. Theoretical Approaches to and the Conceptualisation of Disinformation

1. Should We be Afraid of Fake News? (p. 1)

2. From Misinformation to Modern Lügenpresse: The Redefinition of Fake News (p. 11)

3. Information and Disinformation and the Transformation of Modern Democracy: From Media Bias through the 'Echo Chamber' and the 'Filter Bubble' to Fake News (p. 31)

4. (Dis)Information, Neoliberalism and the Strength of Democracy in the Digital Age (p. 47)

5. Democracy and the Pre-Conditions of Communication (p. 81)

6. Post-Truth Discourses and their Limits: A Democratic Crisis? (p. 103)

7. Elite Theory, Media Regulation and 'Fake News' (p. 127)

Part II. Experience of Dealing with Disinformation

8. True Story! Challenges to Democracy not Covered by the Media: Lessons from the (Non-)Coverage of the Greek Financial Crisis (p. 149)

9. The Scourge of Fake News in Greece (p. 161)

10. Digital Disinformation in a Deeply Divided Society: Reflections from Northern Ireland (p. 179)

11. Disinformation and Fear Propaganda as Justification for the War on Terror During George W. Bush's Presidency (p. 201)

12. Performance Analysis of Fact-Checking Organisations and Initiatives in Europe: A Critical Overview of Online Platforms Fighting Fake News (p. 217)

Part III. Solutions to Deal with Disinformation and their Critique

13. Disinformation and Fake News in Current Jurisprudence of the Strasbourg Court: An Unsolved Problem (p. 247)

14. Fake News and Freedom of Expression and Information: The Legal Framework and Policy Actions at the EU Level to Address Online Disinformation (p. 269)

15. Fighting Online Disinformation: Did the EU Code of Practice Forget about Freedom of Expression? (p. 291)

16. Regulating Internet Content with Technology: Analysis of Policy Initiatives Relevant to Illegal Content and Disinformation Online in the European Union (p. 309)

17. The War against Fake News in the Digital Age and the Weapons in Our Intellectual Arsenal (p. 327)

18. In the Name of Scientific Advancement: How to Assess What Constitutes 'Scientific Research' in the GDPR to Protect Data Subjects and Democracy (p. 341)

19. Tackling Mis- and Disinformation in the Context of Scientific Uncertainty: The Ongoing Case of the COVID-19 'Infodemic' (Invited Contribution) (p. 367)

Over de reeks

European Integration and Democracy Series

European Integration and Democracy is a double peer-reviewed book series dedicated to the analysis of the challenges to democracy posed by the process of European integration, using interdisciplinary (law, history, political science, etc.) and comparative perspectives. Each volume in the series is usually devoted to a single aspect of these challenges. The intended readership includes policy makers, legal practitioners, academics and advanced students interested in a critical analysis of the interaction between the European integration and the concept of democracy.

The series was launched in 2012 and is managed by the Centre for Direct Democracy Studies (CDDS) at the Faculty of Law, University of Białystok, Poland. The Centre is devoted to analytical, theoretical, prospective and comparative research on direct democracy, democratic deficit and the role of direct democracy in regional integration. Intersentia became the series’ publisher in 2014.

Editors-in-Chief: Elżbieta Kużelewska (University of Białystok, Poland) and Dariusz Kloza (University of Ghent, Belgium).

Editorial board: Daniel Barnhizer (Michigan State University, United States of America), Tomas Berkmanas (Vytautas Magnus University, Kaunas, Lithuania), Filip Křepelka (Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic), Erich Schweighofer (University of Vienna, Austria), Ryszard Skarzyński (University of Białystok, Poland) and Konstanty A. Wojtaszczyk (University of Warsaw, Poland).

The first two volumes in the series were published by Aspra-JR and can be downloaded in open access (click on the title):
- Kużelewska Elżbieta and Kloza Dariusz (eds.) (2012) The Challenges of Modern Democracy and European Integration. European Integration and Democracy Series, Vol. 1, Aspra, Warszawa, 249 pp.

- Kużelewska Elżbieta and Kloza Dariusz (eds.) (2013) Elections to the European Parliament as a Challenge for Democracy. European Integration and Democracy Series, Vol. 2, Aspra, Warszawa, 372 pp.

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