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Remedying disinformation and fake news? The cultural frameworks of fake news crisis responses and solution-seeking
journal contributionposted on 2023-03-06, 23:09 authored by Rob Cover, Ashleigh HawAshleigh Haw, Jay Daniel Thompson
For the past half-decade, disinformation and misinformation have been discussed in the public sphere as the construct ‘fake news’, through a discourse of crisis and, increasingly, in terms of responses, remedies, solutions, interventions and preventative affordances. This article explores the emergence of the crisis–remedy discourse of disinformation, arguing that responsiveness is grounded in a solutionism that positions ‘fake news’ as crisis. Drawing on select examples, we use a cultural approach to analyse a range of remedies put forward in public sphere, policy and scholarly discourse. We identify three frameworks of the crisis–remedy discourse: alarmism, regulation/eradication, and adaptation. The article presents examples of five remedial approaches and theorises their alignment with different crisis frameworks. By thinking through the cultural formation of different remedies, we aim to draw out cultural studies’ utility in future efforts to determine the efficacy and ethics of current and future solutions to disinformation.