Global Fake News and Defamation Symposium

Call for Papers

Now accepting submissions!

Abstract deadline September 25, 2017

Fake News and “Weaponized Defamation”: Global Perspectives

January 26, 2018

Southwestern Law School
3050 Wilshire Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90010

The Journal of International Media & Entertainment Law in association with the Southwestern Law Review and Southwestern International Law Journal, invites the submission of papers that fit within our 2018 theme:

Fake News and “Weaponized Defamation”: Global Perspectives.

Concept Note:

The notion of “fake news” has gained great currency in global popular culture in the wake of contentious social-media imbued elections in the United States and Europe. Although often associated with the rise of extremist voices in political discourse and, specifically, an agenda to “deconstruct” the power of government, institutional media, and the scientific establishment, fake news is "new wine in old bottles," a phenomenon that has long historical roots in government propaganda, jingoistic newspapers, and business-controlled public relations. In some countries, dissemination of “fake news” is a crime that is used to stifle dissent. This broad conception of fake news not only acts to repress evidence-based inquiry of government, scientists, and the press; but it also diminishes the power of populations to seek informed consensus on policies such as climate change, healthcare, race and gender equality, religious tolerance, national security, drug abuse, poverty, homophobia, and government corruption, among others.

"Weaponized defamation” refers to the increasing invocation, and increasing use, of defamation and privacy torts by people in power to threaten press investigations, despite laws protecting responsible or non-reckless reporting. In the United States, for example, some politicians, including the current president, invoke defamation as both a sword and shield. Armed with legal power that individuals—and most news organizations—cannot match, politicians and celebrities, wealthy or backed by the wealth of others, can threaten press watchdogs with resource-sapping litigation; at the same time, some leaders appear to leverage their “lawyered-up” legal teams to make knowingly false attacks—or recklessly repeat the false attacks of others—with impunity.

Papers should have an international or comparative focus that engages historical, contemporary or emerging issues relating to fake news or “weaponized defamation.” All papers submitted will be fully refereed by a minimum of two specialized referees. Before final acceptance, all referee comments must be considered.

Deadline to submit an abstract is September 25, 2017.

Deadline to submit a completed paper is January 5, 2018.

  • Accepted papers will be peer reviewed and distributed during the conference to all attendees.
  • Authors are given an opportunity to briefly present their papers at the conference.
  • Accepted papers will be published in the Journal of International Media and Entertainment Law, the Southwestern Law Review, or the Southwestern Journal of International Law.

Authors whose papers are accepted for publication will be provided with round-trip domestic or international travel (subject to caps) to Los Angeles, California, hotel accommodations, and complimentary conference registration.

The Journal of International Media & Entertainment Law is a faculty-edited journal published by the Donald E. Biederman Entertainment and Media Law Institute at Southwestern Law School, in cooperation with the American Bar Association’s Forum on Communications Law, and the ABA’s Forum on the Entertainment and Sports Industries.

The Southwestern Law Review and the Southwestern Journal of International Law are honors publications edited by students at Southwestern Law School.