Many contemporary authors believe that we are living in a post-fact or post-truth world. In particular, these terms are applied to the political landscape of the United States and other developed countries. For instance, Holland (2016) criticizes Donald Trump for influencing the direction of news coverage and shading the truth. The author argues that due to the evident bias of all Western news, people often have no access to the truth, which has prompted a shift to the post-truth world. The present essay will aim to explore this and similar articles on the topic to review the authors’ opinions on the post-fact or post-truth world.
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Most of the articles on the subject explain the notions of ‘post-fact’ and ‘post-truth’. For example, Luu (2016) states that a post-truth era is a time when people can no longer be certain that the information provided by major media is true. Similarly, Dimaggio (2016) and Holland (2016) apply the term ‘post-fact’ to the uncertainty fostered by fake news and political propaganda. However, some authors state that the shift to a post-fact world occurred because of the changing nature of data used by politicians and market researchers. Davies (2016) explains that “The promise of facts is to settle arguments between warring perspectives and simplify the issues at stake. […] The promise of data, by contrast, is to sense shifts in public sentiment” (para. 18-19). Thus, instead of abandoning facts for uncertainty, the post-fact world relies on data for information.
Another important issue addressed in some of the articles is distinguishing between truth and lies. Dimaggio (2016) contends that facts include information that is supported by evidence, which is why it is possible to perform a fact check to distinguish between true and false claims. In the post-fact world, the information delivered to people is not supported by evidence and is thus untrue. Holland (2016), on the other hand, argues that bias, or distortion of truth, affect the reliability of information. Therefore, even if the evidence used for two different news articles is the same, one of them can still be untrue if the author’s judgment is biased. Finally, Davies (2016) suggests that one of the critical problems that affect the trustworthiness of information is that there are too many facts, and sometimes facts contradict one another. In this way, the information is only true if there are no facts that can prove the opposite.
I think that the authors’ arguments are well-founded and that we are currently living in a world where there is no truth. I define truth as the information that can be proven with factual evidence and cannot be refuted. Today, the media often provides us with information that is biased or distorted, which diminishes its reliability. Politicians and governments use the news as a means to promote their cause and create a favorable image in the media. The Internet has also contributed to the shift from truth to post-truth, as it has made it much easier for people to create and share fake stories and news with others. These notions cause us to question every bit of information that is delivered to us, regardless of the medium. Thus, I believe that the authors of the articles explored for this assignment are correct in saying that we are currently living in a post-truth world.
Davies, W. (2016). The age of post-truth politics. The New York Times. Web.
Dimaggio, A. (2016). Post-fact politics: Reviewing the history of fake news and propaganda. Counter Punch. Web.
Holland, J. (2016). Welcome to Donald Trump’s post-fact America. Rolling Stone. Web.
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Luu, D. (2016). The collapse of meaning in a post-truth world. JSTOR Daily. Web.