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Evidence Submission - Fake News Final

The concept of fake news is problematic. It is a catch-all term with multiple definitions that has the capacity to undermine the role of media as the fourth estate as well as the civic attitudes that underpin democratic culture. Our report outlines the definitions and underlying practices captured by the term, demonstrating how fake news is used to confirm existing biases and beliefs. Our contention is, however, that confirmation bias can only be relied upon where facts, and the sources of facts, are contested and so lack credibility. In other words citizens will rely on their beliefs when they are unable to believe alternative accounts.

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