The Death of Truth – Discussing Protagonists of the Post-truth Era
The Commonwealth Centre for Connected Learning (3CL) is hosting a conference on Post-Truth Society, 10-11 October, 2019, in Valletta, Malta, to examine and find solutions to the death of truth era. In the video interview below, as a pre-cursor to the kind of issues and debate taking place at the conference, Dr Alex Grech, Executive Director of 3CL, discusses with Interpersonal Divide author Dr Michael Bugeja the surprisingly similarities between the state of the post-truth society in Malta and the U.S, along with social media misuse and the key protagonists of the post-truth era.
Dr Michael Bugeja, Distinguished Professor of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Iowa State University, says journalism and society in Malta and the United States has been divided politically and ethically: “Fact is alternative and truth is not truth. We seek affirmation rather than information. Many of us would rather be friended but uninformed”. Meanwhile, journalism has aligned itself with those groups and political parties because “margins are too low in the objective middle”.
Dr Bugeja asks this intriguing question: How can two countries thousands of miles apart with decidedly different cultures suffer from the same moral malady? Technology divides us into partisan groups. Corporate giants–Apple, Microsoft, Google (Alphabet), and Facebook have programmed how we think and treat each other in the post-truth era.
The upcoming conference will echo and extrapolate from this debate on the death of truth. Keynote speakers and workshops will examine the role of four key, interconnected sectors – technology, the media, education and government – as both contributors and solutions to the death of truth era. The conference is essential for educators, communicators, journalists and citizens so that they can understand what divides them, who profits from the division, and what can be done about it.
In this interview on the death of truth, you’ll hear about:
- Why it is important to understand the insidiousness and nuances of post-truth society. For example, it is important to think not only about concepts such as fake news, and recognise trolling and cyberbullying, but also to understand the implications of simple actions such as logging into your social media accounts.
- How powerful technology really is. We’re living in a time where machines are shaping our opinions of one another and the world around us. That power is now at our fingertips; and how responsibility must come with that power.
- Why faith is being lost in social media. You no longer own your personal content once you upload something to social media. Social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram own our information and are using it to enrich themselves at our expense.
- What can be done about this crisis. It is imperative that digital literacy classes on media and technology form part of the curriculum from early years. Institutions need to understand that the next generation shapes our future and that there is no longer a place for leaving our adoption of technology to trial and error.
- How fact is no longer fact – truth is no longer truth. We must constantly ask ourselves what we believe and why in an era where affirmation not information is the coinage.
- Why simple, everyday actions such as clicking ‘agree’ to terms and services on a website are relinquishing our power over our data and online habits. If we just took time to read them before accepting them, we’d have more control over your privacy.
If you would like to be part of the discussions on shaping strategies to mitigate the post-truth era, join us in Malta, 10-11 October, 2019, for the 3CL conference – Post-truth Society: From Fake News, Datafication & Mass Surveillance To the Death of Trust. Find out more and register here. Early bird registration closes 31 July.