Understanding the outcome of post-truth politics

Photo by Wesson Wang on Unsplash

What is post-truth politics?

It’s important to distinguish between misinformation and media bias. Political bias in the media has existed since the dawn of the free press. We know that networks like CNN have a liberal bias while Fox has a conservative one. We know that the New York Times traditionally leans left while the Wall Street Journal leans right.

The suspicion and rejection of objective reality

First, in the modern era of social media, posts can be shared instantly without a second look. Sources aren’t credited or checked. Photos are easily doctored and viral videos are staged in order to create chaos and confusion.

The embrace of false allegations and conspiracies

Second, if we reject the notion of fact-based reality, we can trust no one and nothing except for who and what aligns with our worldview. We are then convinced that the journalists, medical experts, scientists, and elected leaders who disagree with us are liars. Or worse, that they’re actively involved in a scheme against us.

So, what is our responsibility?

Experts are split on whether we will see a rise or decline in the spread of misinformation over the next decade. And although third-party fact-checkers are a viable tool for those who are skeptical or confused, it is likely too late for people already immersed in the online vortex. They will dismiss fact-checking as nothing more than part of the conspiracy.

Writer, storyteller, and researcher in social and health psychology. Published in Thought Catalog, Mind Cafe, and The Ascent. taylorsuzannesimons.com

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