Thesis Info

Thesis Title
Fake News in Tactical Media and in Social Media: How tactical media practices of fake news differ from fake news on social media
Hadas Emma Kedar
2nd Author
3rd Author
Number of Pages
Danube University Krems
Thesis Supervisor
Prof. Dr.habil. Dr.h.c. Oliver Grau
Supervisor e-mail
Oliver.Grau AT
Other Supervisor(s)
Prof. Dr. Ana Peraica
Language(s) of Thesis
Department / Discipline
Media Arts Cultures
Languages Familiar to Author
Hebrew, English
URL where full thesis can be found
tactical media, fake news, post-truth, media art, social media, mass media, news, hoax, false information, The Yes Men, Donald Trump, US election, fake, propaganda
Abstract: 200-500 words
The ‘fake news’ phenomenon is greatly discussed in contemporary news headlines. Fake, however, has a long history in art and culture. Through works of the activist-art approach ‘tactical media’, it is possible to define faking of news as an artistic practice. This thesis compares tactics of fake news in art and in the non-artistic ‘dominant’ culture. Six case studies from the past two decades are chosen to demonstrate the use of fake news tactics. The three tactical media artworks are The Yes Men’s Bhopal hoax on BBC (2004), The Yes Men and Steve Lambert’s fake New York Times newspaper (2008), and Julian Oliver and Danja Vasiliev’s Newstweek intervention (2011). The three dominant-culture cases are Donald Trump’s false statement about his new tax bill (2017), a fake article about the pope endorsing Trump for presidency (2016), and a fake CBS-News website (2015). By discussing the general use of media technologies for production and distribution of fake news and its specific use in tactical media, this research extracts the differences between practices of art and practices of dominant culture. In addition, it sheds light on the state of media art and culture today, emphasizing the role of fake news in the ‘post-truth’ contemporary culture. Although all the case studies share a similar tactic and deliver false information, the thesis concludes that they differ from one another by their background and context, their techniques, their meanings, by the author’s responsibility and their relation to truth.