An Old Truth A New Concept: Post-Truth

Kaya R.

Isparta Okulu Dergisi, vol.1, no.1, pp.25-35, 2021 (Peer-Reviewed Journal)

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 1 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Journal Name: Isparta Okulu Dergisi
  • Page Numbers: pp.25-35
  • Süleyman Demirel University Affiliated: Yes


Extended Summary

Background: The past of the debate about the truth is as old and ancient as the effort to make sense of human existence. Every questioning within the field of philosophy is in some way related to truth. Science and religion have also claimed to seek and utter the truth. Especially in the last few decades, we have been witnessing the post-truth period. Especially the process that emerged with the rejection of universal truth after postmodernism made the era of post-truth possible. One of the most important reasons for the increasing popularity of the concept of post-truth has been the emergence of the media, especially social media. Verification of the information stack resulting from digital media transforming each user into a news source brings a considerable time-consuming effort. The modern individual, who does not have this time, accepts the news circulating in the social media environment created by individuals with the same like-minded as true. The individual kept on the network with social media algorithms mostly confines himself/herself to the echo chamber where people with the same opinion listen. Is there any way to escape this voluntary imprisonment?

Purpose: The aim of this study is to reveal the basic dynamics of the post-truth age. It was discussed how it would be possible to protect from the damages caused by the loss of importance of the truth by taking a look at the historical process of the post-truth era, which has gained momentum especially with social media. One side of this debate is political debates. In particular, the US elections in which Trump was elected president and the post-Brexit debates flared up and the awareness of the issue increased enormously. Although the subject is thought to be politically oriented, it should not be considered only on the political level. The subject is important in terms of opening the door to examinations in many different aspects.

Method: This article is a theoretical article. A theoretical article contains or refers to new or established abstract principles related to a specific field of knowledge. Opinions on the subject have been compiled. Evaluations were made based on the opinions on the subject. The conceptual background of the subject goes back to ancient times. Based on its conceptual background, the evaluations regarding the recent changes, especially, have been taken into consideration. As a result of these evaluations, implications about what kind of solution suggestions can be put forward have been revealed.

Findings: Considering the conceptual background, when the subject is evaluated within the framework of the current situation, it is revealed that social media is the most important factor in post-truth age. With the developing internet technologies and transformations, social media and its users have become a news source, bringing along a series of problems. The fine line between news and opinion has become even more blurred, users have started to share and circulate unidentified news from anonymous sites and blogs as if they were true. Sensational news that was clicked and liked a lot has replaced the right news. In the enormous mass of information that emerges, the modern individual makes the same decisions as people who agree with him/her. This can lead to deviations in many areas from education to democracy. As a result, social welfare may suffer from this.

Conclusions: There is a moral distinction between being aware of the truth and denying it. People who lie are aware of the truth. He knows the truth but says otherwise. There have been challenges to the concept of truth in the past as well. The distinctive feature of this period is that truth is challenged for political interests and this is imposed on the masses by the new media. In this respect, this concept will always be the focus of recent political debates, and most of the discourses will be criticized and evaluated by referring to this concept. This period has an importance that cannot be handled only from the political perspective. Damages may arise in many areas from education to democracy. For this, children should be educated in schools, especially media literacy. A common and strong attitude should be taken against fake news with national and international partnerships within and outside the country. There is a need for increased and continuous training on fake news for traditional and social media journalists.

Key Words: Truth, Post-Truth, Social Media, Fake News, Media Literacy