The Distortion of Factual Truth

Every time some major political event happens, I can’t help but think about Byung Chun Han’s Infocracy.

According to Chun Han, discursive rationality today is under threat from affective communication. It’s not the better argument that prevails but the most exciting information. People engage with fake news because fake news are more interesting than facts. It doesn’t stop there: fake news or a fragment of decontextualized information may be more effective than a reasoned argument.

Fake news is not a series of lies. Fake news is an attack on the facts themselves. It “elasticizes” reality. In asserting whatever suits their purposes, without compunction, many politicians are indifferent toward factual truth. Someone who is blind to fact and reality poses a greater threat to the truth than a liar.

Chun Han calls this constructed lie Truthiness: a felt truth that lacks any objectivity or factual solidity. Its subjective wilfulness, which is its essence, eliminates the truth.

truth truthiness fake news

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