Fake News and Tourism – Whose Responsibility Is It?
Fake news was Collins Dictionary’s 2017 word of the year. The term was made extremely popular before and during the 2016 U.S elections where sensationalist news reporting, often unverified, were disseminated by political actors in their bid to secure support towards their campaigns. In brief, fake news refers to the reporting of articles that has been manipulated so that information is re-presented in a manner determined by a sender. For this reason, interest has been piqued to mitigate the effects of fake news given the ease of publicizing and disseminating user-generated contents digitally, especially so in the realm of social media. However, it has been conceded that fake news has hardly been addressed in tourism academic scholarship. This is somewhat surprising, given that online information search and dissemination is a core feature of a technologically mediated tourism industry, with recent instances of fake online reviews emerging. This project will explore the current scope of fake news in tourism, propose future areas of investigation, and discuss theoretical and practical implications for responsible tourism management.
Keywords: responsible tourism; sensationalistic reporting; media framing; credibility; online information