Understanding online falsehood from the perspective of social problem

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


The perspective of social problem has been used to analyze a variety of disconcerting phenomena over the years. These run the gamut from unemployment and drug addiction to sexual assault and child labor. Meanwhile, digital technology has now cemented itself firmly as a dominant social phenomenon. As its by-product, it has engendered online falsehood—often manifested as fake news or rumors—that easily becomes viral on the Internet. Yet, research has not examined the phenomenon of online falsehood through the lens of social problem hitherto. Therefore, this chapter seeks to explain how the issue of online falsehood has now turned into a problem for the digital society. With a social constructionism paradigm, it draws on the literature about the construction of social problems. A typology of online falsehood is also proposed. The chapter concludes with an urgent call to combat online falsehood.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Research on Deception, Fake News, and Misinformation Online
PublisherHershey, PA: IGI Global
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • fake news
  • disinformation
  • social media
  • misinformation
  • online falsehood
  • rumor
  • social constructionism
  • social problems
  • social issue

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