Skip to main content

Postdigital Truths: Educational Reflections on Fake News and Digital Identities

  • 252 Accesses

Part of the Postdigital Science and Education book series (PSE)

Abstract

The lives of young people have successfully been infiltrated by multiple online actors—many unbeknownst to them. In this chapter, we wonder how young people manage the information they receive from different sources and how they think about and deal with manipulated information, also known as fake news. We are taking a postdigital approach that allows us to describe the normalisation of interactions with digital materials. Students’ lives are entangled and their digital identities are no longer limited to only local feelings of belonging, but are shaped by complex social contextual relationships with multiple cultures. The chapter examines what it may mean when young people find it increasingly easy to connect with like-minded peers and seek positive reinforcements of their views and actions on the topics of their daily life. In this contribution, we illustrate our thinking by presenting vignettes from two projects where young people reflected on their encounters with fake news, and how they manage information they receive online in general. The vignettes are analysed first by foregrounding material actors through actor–network theory, then overlaid with a cultural-historical activity theory framework so we can hone in on socio-material details and what this means for education in postdigital times.

Keywords

  • Postdigital
  • Digital competences
  • Fake news
  • Echo chamber
  • Filter bubble
  • Digital identity
  • Information literacy

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Buying options

Chapter
USD   29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-65592-1_6
  • Chapter length: 20 pages
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
eBook
USD   119.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • ISBN: 978-3-030-65592-1
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
Softcover Book
USD   159.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Hardcover Book
USD   159.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6

References

  • Alkali, Y. E., & Amichai-Hamburger, Y. (2004). Experiments in digital literacy. CyberPsychology& Behavior, 7(4), 421–429. https://doi.org/10.1089/cpb.2004.7.421.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Allcott, H., & Gentzkow, M. (2017). Social media and Fake News in the 2016 Election. Journal of Economic Perspectives, 31(2), 211–236. https://doi.org/10.1257/jep.31.2.211.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Auberry, K. (2018). Increasing students’ ability to identify fake news through information literacy education and content management systems. The Reference Librarian, 59(4), 179–187. https://doi.org/10.1080/02763877.2018.1489935.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Barnett, R. (1994). The Limits of Competence. Buckingham: SRHE and The Open University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Boutyline, A., & Willer, R. (2017). The social structure of political echo chambers: Variation in ideological homophily in online networks. Political Psychology, 38(3), 551–569.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Buckingham, D. (2007). Youth, Identity and Digital Media. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. https://doi.org/10.1111/pops.12337.

  • Burden, D., & Savin-Baden, M. (2019). Virtual humans: Today and tomorrow. London: CRC Press.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Callon, M. (1984). Some elements of a sociology of translation: domestication of the scallops and the fishermen of St Brieuc Bay. The sociological review, 32(1), 196–233. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-954X.1984.tb00113.x.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Callon, M., & Law, J. (1997). After the individual in society: Lessons on collectivity from science, technology and society. Canadian Journal of Sociology/Cahiers canadiens de sociologie, 22(2), 165–182.

    Google Scholar 

  • Chesney, R., & Citron, D. (2019). Deepfakes and the new disinformation war: The coming age of post-truth geopolitics. Foreign Affairs, 98, 147. https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/world/2018-12-11/deepfakes-and-new-disinformation-war. Accessed 1 October 2020.

  • Cole, M. (1996). Cultural psychology: A once and future discipline. Harvard: Harvard University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Cormier, D., Jandrić, P., Childs, M., Hall, R., White, D., Phipps, L., Truelove, I., Hayes, S., & Fawns, T. (2019). Ten Years of the Postdigital in the 52group: Reflections and Developments 2009–2019. Postdigital Science and Education, 1(2), 475–506. https://doi.org/10.1007/s42438-019-00049-8.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Davies, H. C. (2018). Learning to Google: Understanding classed and gendered practices when young people use the Internet for research. New Media &Society, 20(8), 2764–2780. https://doi.org/10.1177/1461444817732326.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Egelhofer, J., & Lecheler, S. (2019). Fake news as a two-dimensional phenomenon: a framework and research agenda. Annals of the International Communication Association, 43(2), 97–116. https://doi.org/10.1080/23808985.2019.1602782.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • European Commission (2018). Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions. Tackling online disinformation: a European Approach. COM (2018) 236 final. Brussels: European Commission. https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX%3A52018DC0236. Accessed 1 October 2020.

  • Farmer, L. (2019). News literacy and fake news curriculum: School librarians’ perceptions of pedagogical practices. Journal of Media Literacy Education, 11(3), 1–11. https://doi.org/10.23860/JMLE-2019-11-3-1.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Fenwick, T., & Edwards, R. (2011). Introduction: Reclaiming and renewing actor network theory for educational research. Educational Philosophy and Theory, 43(1), 1–14. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1469-5812.2010.00667.x.

  • Ferrara, E., Varol, O., Davis, C., Menczer, F., & Flammini, A. (2016). The rise of social bots. Communications of the ACM, 59(7), 96–104. https://doi.org/10.1145/2818717.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Floridi, L. (2011). The construction of personal identities online. Minds and Machines, 21, 477–479. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11023-011-9254-y.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Floridi, L. (2015). The onlife manifesto: Being human in a hyperconnected era. Cham: Springer Nature.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Floridi, L. (2018). Artificial intelligence, deepfakes and a future of ectypes. Philosophy & Technology, 31(3), 317–321. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13347-018-0325-3.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Gibson, P., & Smith, S. (2018). Digital literacies: preparing pupils and students for their information journey in the twenty-first century. Information and Learning Science, 119(12), 733–742. https://doi.org/10.1108/ILS-07-2018-0059.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Goffman, E. (1959). The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life, Anchor Doubleday. New York, NY: Garden City.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hansen, M., & Meints, M. (2006). Digitale Identitäten. Überblick und aktuelle Trends. Datenschutz und Datensicherheit-DuD, 30(9), 543–547. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11623-006-0139-9.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Hermida, A. (2011). Fluid spaces, fluid journalism: The Role of the “Active Recipient” in Participatory Journalism. In J. B. Singer, A. Hermida, D. Domingo, A. Heinonen, S. Paulussen, T. Quandt, Z. Reich, & M. Vujnovic (Eds.), Participatory journalism: Guarding open gates at online newspapers (pp. 177–191). Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell. https://doi.org/10.1002/9781444340747.ch10.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Himmelrath, A., & Egbers, J. (2018). Fake News – ein Handbuch für Schule und Unterricht. Bern: Hep Verlag.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hitzler, R., & Honer, A. (1994). Bastelexistenz. In U. Beck & E. Beck-Gernsheim (Eds.), Riskante Freiheiten (pp. 307–315). Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp.

    Google Scholar 

  • Holt, K., Shehata, A., Strömbäck, J., & Ljungberg, E. (2013). Age and the effects of news media attention and social media use on political interest and participation: Do social media function as leveller? European journal of communication, 28(1), 19–34. https://doi.org/10.1177/0267323112465369.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Jang, S., & Kim, J. (2018). Third person effects of fake news: Fake news regulation and media literacy interventions. Computers in Human Behavior, 80, 295–302. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2017.11.034.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Jauregui, J., Watsjold, B., Welsh, L., Ilgen, J. S., & Robins, L. (2020). Generational ‘othering’: the myth of the Millennial learner. Medical education, 54(1), 60–65. https://doi.org/10.1111/medu.13795.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Jones-Jang, S. M., Mortensen, T., & Liu, J. (2019). Does media literacy help identification of fake news? Information literacy helps, but other literacies don’t. American Behavioral Scientist. https://doi.org/10.1177/0002764219869406.

  • Journell, W. (2019). Unpacking Fake News. An Educator's Guide to Navigating the Media with Students. Columbia: Teachers College Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kaptelinin, V., & Nardi, B. (2006). Acting with technology: Activity theory and interaction design. Cambridge, MA: MIT press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Knox, J. (2019). What does the ‘postdigital’ mean for education? Three critical perspectives on the digital, with implications for educational research and practice. Postdigital Science and Education, 1(2), 357–370. https://doi.org/10.1007/s42438-019-00045-y.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Latour, B. (1987). Science in Action: How to Follow Scientists and Engineers through Societies. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Latour, B. (1992). Where are the missing masses? The sociology of a few mundane artifacts. In W. E. Bijker & J. Law (Eds.), Shaping Technology/Building Society: Studies in Sociotechnical Change. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Latour, B. (1999). On recalling ANT. The sociological review, 47(1), 15–25. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-954X.1999.tb03480.x.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Law, J. (1987). Technology and heterogeneous engineering: The case of Portuguese expansion. In W. E. Bijker, T. P. Hughes, & T. Pinch (Eds.), The social construction of technological systems: New directions in the sociology and history of technology. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Lazer, D., Baum, M., Benkler, Y., Berinsky, A., Greenhill, K., Menczer, F., Metzger, M. J., Nyhan, B., Pennycook, G., Rothschild, D., Schudson, M., Sloman, S. A., Sunstein, C. R., Thorson, E. A., Watts, D. J., & Zittrain, J. L. (2018). The science of fake news. Science, 359, 1094–1096.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Liao, V., & Fu, W. (2013). Beyond the filter bubble: interactive effects of perceived threat and topic involvement on selective exposure to information. In Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems(CHI ’13) (pp. 2359–2368). New York, Association for Computing Machinery. https://doi.org/10.1145/2470654.2481326.

  • Lindau, A. (2010). Verhandelte Vielfalt. Die Konstruktion von Diversity in Organisationen. Wiesbaden: Springer.

    Google Scholar 

  • Livingstone, S., Van Couvering, E., Thumin, N., Coiro, J., Knobel, M., Lankshear, C., & Leu, D. (2008). Converging traditions of research on media and information literacies. In J. Coiro, M. Knobel, C. Lankshear, & D. Leu (Eds.), Handbook of research on new literacies (pp. 103–132). New York: Lawrence Erlbaum.

    Google Scholar 

  • Masschelein, J. (2010). E-ducating the gaze: the idea of a poor pedagogy. Ethics and education, 5(1), 43–53. https://doi.org/10.1080/17449641003590621.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • McDougall, J., Zezulkova, M., van Driel, B., & Sternadel, D. (2018). Teaching media literacy in Europe: evidence of effective school practices in primary and secondary education. NESET II report. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union. https://nesetweb.eu/en/resources/library/teaching-media-literacy-in-europe-evidence-of-effective-school-practices-in-primary-and-secondary-education/. Accessed 1 October 2020.

  • O’Hara, K., & Stevens, D. (2015). Echo chambers and online radicalism: Assessing the Internet's complicity in violent extremism. Policy &Internet, 7(4), 401–422. https://doi.org/10.1002/poi3.88.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Otrel-Cass, K. (2019). Epilogue: Of Scales, Spaces, Meshworks, and Maps of Connections. In K. Otrel-Cass (Ed.), Hyperconnectivity and Digital Reality (pp. 145–153). Cham: Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-24143-8_9.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Pariser, E. (2011). The filter bubble: How the new personalized web is changing what we read and how we think. London: Penguin Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Pegrum, M. (2010). I link, therefore I am: network literacy as a core digital literacy. E-Learning and Digital Media, 7(4), 346–354. https://doi.org/10.2304/elea.2010.7.4.346.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Pörksen, B. (2018). Die große Gereiztheit. Wege aus der kollektiven Erregung. München: Hanser Verlag.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Radziwill, N. M., & Benton, M. C. (2017). Evaluating quality of chatbots and intelligent conversational agents. arXiv preprint arXiv, 1704.04579.

    Google Scholar 

  • Redecker, C. (2017). European framework for the digital competence of educators: DigCompEdu. Seville: The European Commission's science and knowledge service. https://ec.europa.eu/jrc/en/digcompedu. Accessed 1 October 2020.

  • Scherke, K. (2011). Transnationalität als Herausforderung für die soziologische Migrationsforschung. In G. Marinelli-König & A. Preisinger (Eds.), Zwischenräume der Migration. Über die Entgrenzung von Kultur und Identitäten (pp. 79–90). Bielefeld: Transcript Verlag.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Sciannamea, R. (2020). Fake News: Evolution of a rising concept and implications for the education system. Doctoral thesis. Milano: Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca.

    Google Scholar 

  • Sørensen, E. (2009). Materiality of learning. Technology and knowledge in educational practice. New York: Cambridge University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Tandoc, E., Lim, Z., & Ling, R. (2018). Defining ‘Fake News’: A typology of scholarly definitions. Digital Journalism, 6(2), 137–153. https://doi.org/10.1080/21670811.2017.1360143.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Williams, S., Fleming, S., & Parslow, P. (2010). This Is Me-Digital Identity for careers. Reading, UK: Central Archive at the University of Reading.

    Google Scholar 

  • Williamson, B., Potter, J., & Eynon, R. (2019). New research problems and agendas in learning, media and technology: the editors’ wishlist. Learning, media and technology, 44(2), 87–91. https://doi.org/10.1080/17439884.2019.1614953.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Zimmermann, F., & Kohring, M. (2018). Fake News als aktuelle Desinformation. SystematischeBestimmungeinesheterogenenBegriffs. M&K, 66(4), 526–541.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Zuboff, S. (2019). The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power. London: Profile Books Ltd..

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Kathrin Otrel-Cass .

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

Copyright information

© 2021 The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG

About this chapter

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this chapter

Otrel-Cass, K., Fasching, M. (2021). Postdigital Truths: Educational Reflections on Fake News and Digital Identities. In: Savin-Baden, M. (eds) Postdigital Humans. Postdigital Science and Education . Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-65592-1_6

Download citation

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-65592-1_6

  • Published:

  • Publisher Name: Springer, Cham

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-030-65591-4

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-030-65592-1

  • eBook Packages: EducationEducation (R0)