Ethics Bowl: The War Against Fake News

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Analyze a current debate case.

Explain an argument that supports a position for or against the case.

Apply an ethical theory to your argument.


1. Read Case 6: The War Against Fake News from the 2017 Texas Regional Ethics Bowl Competition.

QUESTION: Should facebook create algorithms to censor fake news articles?

Write three- five paragraphs evaluating the ethical issues of
the case and arguing FOR or AGAINST a position from the question. Make
sure to pick ONE position (for or against), identify the stakeholders,
address various ethical issues (e.g., freedom of speech, violation of
rights, happiness of society, autonomy, etc.), give at least 1 argument
that supports your position, and explain and reply to a possible


Paragraph 1: Summarize the scenario briefly, focusing on the
elements that you will address in your argument and state your
thesis (pick a position either FOR or AGAINST)

Paragraph 2: Give one argument that supports the thesis. Remember to explain your argument fully, using examples or scenarios.

Paragraph 3: Give another argument that supports the thesis.

Paragraph 4: Explain a possible objection to the thesis. Reply to that objection.

–Your goal is to give objective arguments to support a
thesis.Use the theories that we have studied to support your arguments.
One of your arguments must explicitly address one of the ethical
theories we covered (Utilitarianism, Deontology, Cultural Relativism,
Social contract theory, Egoism, Divine command theory). Think about what
Mill or Kant would say.

–Make sure your arguments do not commit any obvious fallacy
such as anecdotal evidence, emotional appeal, fallacy of assertion
(stating beliefs or opinions), straw man, etc.

–Make sure you give REASONS for the position.

— Explain your arguments fully, using examples or scenarios.
Pretend that your reader doesn’t know the case, and does not agree with
you. Explain your argument fairly and sufficiently.

–Your last paragraph (or two) should explain a possible
objection against your argument, and then explain your reply. Thus, if
your thesis is FOR a position, explain an argument AGAINST the position,
and reply to that argument.

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