NORDSCI Conference proceedings 2020, Book 1

Education and educational research

THE USE OF CRITICAL THINKING AGAINST FAKE NEWS

PhD Candidate, Alexandra-Niculina Babii

ABSTRACT

The digital era has determined a very easy creation and propagation of fake news. As a consequence, it has become harder for people to fight this malicious phenomenon. However, the only weapon that can have results in this informational war is critical thinking. But who should use it? The creators of fake news that do this for different reasons? The social platforms that allow the circulation of fake news with ease? Mass media which does not always verify with much attention and rigour the information they spread? The Governments that should apply legal sanctions? Or the consumer that receives all the fake news, him being the final target? Even if critical thinking would be useful for every actor on fake news’ stage, the one who needs it the most is the consumer. This comes together with the big responsibility placed on his shoulders. Even if others are creating and spreading disinformation, the consumer must be aware and be careful with the information he encounters on a daily basis. He should use his reasoning and he should not believe everything just because it is on the Internet. How can he do that?
Critical thinking seems to be a quite difficult tool to use, especially for non-specialized individuals. This paper’s aim is to propose a simplified model of critical thinking that can contribute to detecting fake news with the help of people’s self judgement. The model is based on theories from Informal Logic considering the structure of arguments and on Critical Discourse Analysis theories concerning the patterns found in the content of the information.

KEYWORDS

critical thinking; fake news; disinformation; misinformation

REFERENCE

NORDSCI International Conference 2020, Book 1, Conference Proceedings, ISSN 2603-4107, ISBN 978-619-7495-11-9, THE USE OF CRITICAL THINKING AGAINST FAKE NEWS, 129-137 pp, DOI paper 10.32008/NORDSCI2020/B1/V3/14