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Alternative News, Alternative Facts: Deconstructing the Realities of "Fake News"

Mon, August 13, 10:30am to 12:10pm, Philadelphia Marriott Downtown, Floor: Level 4, 413


Concerns about fake news have social media giants scrambling. Nonetheless, current solutions fail to recognize that what constitutes “fake news” is complicated. This complexity is tied to how we receive news and information. Our on and off-line worlds are increasingly interconnected, conflating the distinctions between real/fake, production/consumption. Given these blurred boundaries, more attention is needed regarding how individuals create and consume alternative media landscapes and the role news plays in these ecosystems. Drawing on qualitative data collected over the course of six months, this paper demonstrates that conservatives believe mainstream media is "fake news." As a result, they look to alternative media landscapes to stay informed. Using the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville as a focal point, this paper will subsequently unpack the broader implications of this newsgathering process.