«Post-truth» in Social Reality: Risks and Threats

«Post-truth» in Social Reality:
Risks and Threats

Sushpanova I.S.

Cand. Sci. (Sociol.), Assoc. Prof., Senior Researcher of the Center for Strategic social and socio-political research, Institute of Social and Political Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia i.s.shushpanova@mail.ru

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Sushpanova I.S. «Post-truth» in Social Reality: Risks and Threats. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. 2018. No 12. P. 94-104


In the current post-truth culture, the problem of reliable reflection of socio-political reality in the public consciousness is topical. Widespread dissemination of false, fake news is a threat to society and democracy. The term «post-truth» is ambiguously defined in scientific, journalistic circles, among politicians and public figures. The post-truth politics is reflected in the international arena, in conflicts between countries, as well as at the regional level in the battle for the votes. The post-truth culture spreads widely on the Internet, creating a non-alternative personalized «world of truth» for the user. Fake news is gradually becoming a source of concern for the authorities of many states, threatening their internal security and destabilizing international democratic order. Average citizen might hardly tell false information from truth. Information can undermine public trust of citizens and cause widespread protest activity against authorities and democratic values, discrediting both professional journalists, politicians, and the power structures. The fight against false sources of information in the electronic and digital field is gaining momentum. In order to prevent the spread of the post-truth culture, a number of countries have chosen a strategy for strengthening censorship and introducing control over information posted in various media. This way can lead to infringement on civic rights and freedoms, threat to democracy and emergence of authoritarian regimes. Another strategy is to consolidate efforts of civil society, state, means and sources of information dissemination and companies engaged in digital technologies. This – in sum – contributes to the fight against the post-truth culture.

«post-truth»; democracy; social networks; communication; public opinion; elections; information and communication technologies; reliable information, fake; false information


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