Tag: fake news

  • Post-truth as liberal populism: revisiting Cambridge Analytica

    I’ve argued in a few places in recent years (such as this paper) that the notion of ‘post-truth’ has often constituted a form of liberal populism. I mean this in Laclau’s sense of an empty signifier which symbolically structures the social environment. It imagines that a formally harmonious environment was undermined by the intrusion of […]

  • Durkheim’s argument about social contagion is immensely relevant to contemporary discussions of ‘fake news’ and computational propaganda

    From Suicide pg 120-121: We must beware, indeed: when one speaks of imitation, one implies a phenomenon of contagion and, not unreasonably, we may pass very easily from the first of these ideas to the other. But is there anything contagious about carrying out a moral precept, or deferring to the authority of tradition or […]

  • You can’t have your ‘facts’ back

    My notes on Marres, N. (2018). Why We Can’t Have Our Facts Back. Engaging Science, Technology, and Society, 4, 423-443. “We want our facts back” is a semi-joking remarking Noortje Marres overheard an academic say which captures a wider response to what has been called ‘post-truth’. Many feel increasingly inclined to take a normative stance […]

  • Can social media firms remain popular while being perceived as untrustworthy?

    Can social media firms remain popular while being perceived as untrustworthy?

    In the last few months, I’ve been thinking a lot about the popularity of social media firms amidst mounting scandal. It has often seemed that there’s a new common sense opening up in which these firms are seen as fundamentally untrustworthy, built around a business model which means the scandals they generate are a feature rather […]

  • Social ontology amidst the wreckage of techno-progressive orthodoxy

    I found this review of Trump and the Media by Nicholas Carr in the LA Review of Books immensely thought-provoking. His focus is on the book’s historical contribution, contextualising the enthusiasm with which social media was greeted in terms of long term concerns about the centralisation of mass media. We can’t understand the ideal of […]

  • Call for abstracts: DQComm2018 The Deliberative Quality of Communication Conference

    #DQComm2018 The Deliberative Quality of Communication Conference 2018 Citizens, Media and Politics in Challenging Times: Perspectives on the Deliberative Quality of Communication November 8 – 9, 2018 Mannheim Centre for European Social Research (MZES), Mannheim, Germany Keynote Speaker: Kaisa Herne (University of Tampere) Roundtable on the Future of Deliberation Research with: André Bächtiger (University of […]

  • The Ontology of Fake News

    What we are seeing with the growth of ‘fake news’ is perhaps the weaponisation of epistemology. In other words, ‘fake news’ as a construct is becoming a discursive component of our repertoire of contention. Far from entering a post-truth era, we are seeing truth becoming a mobilising device in a new way, encouraging ‘us’ to defend […]