Fighting the Normalization of Post-Truth Politics

Donald Trump’s rally speech in Phoenix on August 22 was full of falsehoods. The lack of outrage over his deceptive statements points to the normalization of post-truth politics, when appeals to personal beliefs and emotions wins out over objective facts. To avoid this normalization, we need to borrow the successful tactics of the environmental movement in dealing with the pollution of our environment.

 

During this speech, according to highly credible fact-checking organizations such as Factcheck.org and Politifact, Trump misled the audience as to his reaction to the Charlottesville violence, such as by neglecting to mention that he blamed “both sides.” He made false claims about the media, for instance that CNN’s ratings went down when they are rising, or that the media failed to report on Trump’s condemnation of racism, when they did. In the economic arena, he stated that wages “haven’t gone up for a long time,” when actually they’ve risen for at least the last three years. Another example of economic deception: Trump wrongly claimed that the US has “become an energy exporter for the first time ever just recently.”

 

Where is the outrage over these deceptions? This is our President, systematically sowing misinformation. Most of his falsehoods – such as the statement about the wages or CNN ratings – had been debunked earlier. Yet he kept repeating them, leaving no other interpretation than a deliberate intent to deceive, the dictionary definition of lying.

This lying is part of a broader pattern: Trump’s Politifact file shows an astounding 49 percent of his statements, are false. By comparison, his opponent in the US presidential election Hillary Clinton’s file shows that only 12 percent of her statements were false, 14 percent for the Republican Speaker of the House Paul Ryan. Despite Trump’s extremely high rate of deception, many still believe him. As an example, 44 percent of those polled believed his falsehoods about Obama wiretapping Trump Tower during the 2016 election campaign.

 

Thus, many will believe his Phoenix rally claims, despite debunking by fact-checkers. Unfortunately, 29 percent of the public, and only 12 percent of Trump supporters, trustfact-checkers. This mistrust enables Trump to pollute our politics with deception, undermining the trust so crucial to the political health of any democracy…

 

Read more on HuffPost

Photo credit: Wikimedia commons

 Is Fake News the New Norm?

PUSHING THE EDGE: What’s the truth about the ‘post truth’ era

Consider this fictional encounter between a mother and her teenage son.

Mom: “Hey Billy. I just received a call from your English teacher. She says you have not been doing your homework in preparation for class.”

Billy: “Don’t listen to her. That’s ‘fake news’. Who are you going to believe that loser teacher or your loving son?”

Who should Mom believe?

Is “fake news” really fake?

Recently we have added new words to our lexicon such as “fake news” and “alternative facts”. The proliferation of social media such as Twitter and Facebook allows erroneous claims to spread really fast. These erroneous claims can easily be interpreted as “truth” when the information confirms one’s preexisting beliefs. This phenomenon is called “confirmation bias”. Given that bias, fake news instigators thrive on stoking their followers’ confirmatory bias.

Confirmation Bias

In today’s highly politically charged environment, there are many “camps of opinion” that hold their beliefs to be right and others, with different beliefs, to be wrong. The “camps” are preoccupied with building arguments using selective “facts” to support their assertion of “truth” and that “prove” the other wrong. When people with opposing views interpret information in a biased way, their views can move even further apart. Many of us are so attached to our beliefs that those beliefs can survive logical challenges.

Read more here: http://norwell.wickedlocal.com/news/20170720/pushing-edge-whats-truth-about-post-truth-era

Featured photo credit: http://ow.ly/j0I430dOEtd

Do you agree: Can beliefs be so strong that they can survive logical challenges?

‘Post-truth is an intellectual label for bulls**t’ – Nish Kumar on The Mash Report

We are living in a ‘post-truth’ era of fake news, we keep being told. British and American politics are becoming more and more like a South Park episode in real life. Enter stand-up comedian Nish Kumar and master satirists The Daily Mash. Written in the week of broadcast, The Mash Report is a new TV show from the minds behind the website whose Onion-style take on the British news cycle has won it 600,000 fans on Facebook and millions of daily readers. Joined by comedic talents Ellie Taylor, Steve N Allen and Rachel Parris, presenter Kumar will report on everything that happened – or didn’t happen – that week.

Read more: https://inews.co.uk/essentials/culture/television/nish-kumar-the-mash-report-post-truth-satire/

Photo credit: Nish Kumar fronts the new topical show The Mash Report (Photo: BBC)

What’s your opinion?

The Post-Truth World – Why Have We Had Enough Of Experts?

We are living in a post-truth world, where alternative facts and fake news compete on an equal footing with peer-reviewed research and formerly-authoritative sources such as the United Kingdom’s global news and current affairs service, the BBC.

Read more:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/lbsbusinessstrategyreview/2017/05/22/the-post-truth-world-why-have-we-had-enough-of-experts/#15b8140754e6

Call for Media-Makers: POST-TRUTH Project

On Inauguration Day 2017, Open Signal and Lower Boom partnered to launch the POST-TRUTH project, at Post-Truth-World.com.

We’re awarding $1000 stipends to five regional media-makers so they can make original works about “post-truth,” or what it’s like to live in a post-factual political era.

Project Requirements
We’d like regional filmmakers, storytellers, media-makers and artists to submit proposals that include project descriptions, scripts, works in progress or finished films.

After stipends are awarded, media-makers will have four months to complete their projects. The finished work will premiere at a public Post-Truth screening in November, to be hosted on the Post-Truth-World.com website, and to air on Open Signal’s website and cable channels.

To Apply
You’re invited to submit proposals to POST-TRUTH now through May 30 at midnight. Read application instructions and submit online at:

https://www.opensignalpdx.org/about/opportunities/

Call for Media-Makers: POST-TRUTH Project

How to fight ‘fake news’ in a post-truth environment

Though co-opted by US President Donald Trump, the ‘fake news’ phenomenon is global and weakening trust in media.

Its definition is unclear and can change depending on whom you ask. It is used in increasingly politicised ways across much of the world.

And, although its leap to prominence is largely due to 140-character Twitter posts coming out of the White House, it now has widespread implications for journalism, politics, and how people everywhere share information online.

But what exactly is “fake news” and what effect is it having globally?

Read more:

http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2017/03/fight-fake-news-post-truth-environment-170327162945897.html

Journalism Fights for Survival in the Post-Truth Era

THE NEWS MEDIA is in trouble. The advertising-driven business model is on the brink of collapse. Trust in the press is at an all-time low. And now those two long-brewing concerns have been joined by an even larger existential crisis. In a post-fact era of fake news and filter bubbles, in which audiences cherry-pick the information and sources that match their own biases and dismiss the rest, the news media seems to have lost its power to shape public opinion.

Read more here:

https://www.wired.com/2017/02/journalism-fights-survival-post-truth-era/