Combating Fake News, Misinformation, and Machine Learning Generated Fakes: Insight’s from the Islamic Ethical Tradition

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Talat Zubair Amana Raquib Junaid Qadir


The growing trend of sharing and acquiring news through social media platforms and the World Wide Web has impacted individuals as well as societies, spreading misinformation and disinformation. This trend—along with rapid developments in the field of machine learning, particularly with the emergence of techniques such as deep learning that can be used to generate data—has grave political, social, ethical, security, and privacy implications for society. This paper discusses the technologies that have led to the rise of problems such as fake news articles, filter bubbles, social media bots, and deep-fake videos, and their implications, while providing insights from the Islamic ethical tradition that can aid in mitigating them. We view these technologies and artifacts through the Islamic lens, concluding that they violate the commandment of spreading truth and countering falsehood. We present a set of guidelines, with reference to Qur‘anic and Prophetic teachings and the practices of the early Muslim scholars, on countering deception, putting forward ideas on developing these technologies while keeping Islamic ethics in perspective.

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