Freedom of Political Communication, Propaganda and the Role of Epistemic Institutions in Cyberspace

In this talk I provide definitions of fake news, hate speech and propaganda, respectively. These phenomenon are corruptive of the epistemic (i.e. knowledge-aiming) norms, e.g. to tell the truth. I also elaborate the right to freedom of communication and its relation both to censoring propaganda and to the role of epistemic institutions, such as a free and independent press and universities. Finally, I discuss the general problem of countering political propaganda in cyberspace and argue, firstly, that there is an important role for epistemic institutions in this regard and, secondly, that social media platforms need to be redesigned since, as they stand and notwithstanding the benefits which they provide, they are a large part of the problem.