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Real and Fake in Democracy
Why is ‘Real’ important in democracy?
1. In a robust democracy, the presence of fake news sounds rhetorical.
2. In such forms of democracy, reality finds its expression both in the speech of political leaders and other social forms of assertions.
3. The existence of the real has to be transparent through its circulation in and by the media as well as its argumentative articulation in deliberative democracy.
What is the role of media in a democracy?
1. Fake news is contrary to the ideal of democracy and corrupts the texture of democracy.
2. So, Media has the responsibility to circulate the content of reality without distortion.
3. It has to connect social consciousness with the consequences of reality.
4. It has the responsibility to build up democratic discourse around what is real in society.
Which are the reasons for circulation of fake news?
1. Fake news is not limited to the circulation of unreal or distorted information or misinformation.
2. Those who are either seeking formal institutional power or those who want to seek efficacy to their power tend to use fake news.
3. For power, politicians seem to use fake news to score an advantage over their immediate political opponents.
4. Making false promises, particularly during election campaigns, or projecting failure as spectacular success also forms a part of fake news.
Who is targeted by fake news?
1. Voters are the primary targets of fake news as they are important for gaining electoral support.
2. The success of fake news depends on the voter’s readiness to adopt essentially a fabricated and often distorted version of reality or the actual performance of the government in power.
3. It adversely impacts the autonomous judgment that may result from their critical capacity.
4. Only the common people’s capacity to take independent judgment that can negate the objectives of fake news.
How harmful is fake news?
1. The party that comes to power, continues to require fake information, inadequate data, and other forms of deception in order to defend its hold over institutional power.
2. Fake news suppresses the oppositional voice and gains popular support.
5. It pushes people away from the truth.
6. It violates voters’ rights to self-possession or the freedom of self-determination.
7. The consequences of fakery are cognitively corrosive.
8. Overuse of fake news for deceiving people will lead to a serious systemic crisis in democracy.
9. Social division and the economic slowdown will also become a prominent part of such a crisis.