2020 Vision-The Post Truth Society
Monday, April 2
1:00 pm - 3:30 pm
We begin a series of luncheon talks by eminent thinkers on the shape of the next decade. Is change the new normal? In the first of this series, David Clarke, software entrepreneur and member of the Windsor Group discusses the Post Truth Society.
Please note talks will be preceded by lunch at 1pm (included.)
In 2016, two leading Western democracies, the UK and the US, held a referendum and an election that led to significant debate regarding the nature and quality of information available to the voting public. In particular, the Internet and social media were regarded as key emerging battlegrounds.
Internet search engines and social media technology companies have radically transformed how people search for and consume information and how information producers feed content to their consumers. For some, the Internet has democratized information publishing, making it possible for anyone to create content and share it with a global audience. This is seen as having levelled the playing field between citizens and institutions, and given a voice to previously marginalized individuals and communities. For others, though, internet technologies have also produced some less positive unintended consequences that are seen as leading to political and social polarisation; key among these are the increasing role of personalized search and “filter bubbles”. And amidst this debate on the nature of how information is accessed and shared in an Internet society, there has been an increasing focus on the dissemination of so called “false” information. The latter phenomena have been so prominent that the Oxford Dictionary chose ‘post-truth’ as word of the year for 20161.
How should society respond to the challenge of a post-truth information age? Is there a danger of undermining democratic processes, promoting extremism, and destabilising society? Or are these claims simply reflecting the perspective of the established elite, which now faces new challenges as alternative viewpoints and information become more part of mainstream debate?