It’s an adjective, and it means: “relating to denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion that appeals to emotion and personal belief.”
The Oxford Dictionary has really gone for it too, classifying post-truth as both the US and UK new word of the year.
Orwell has his own version, of course, it was Doublespeak, it is just that George Orwell was writing a book called 1948, which was then changed to 1984, and social media hadn’t been invented.
Post-truth is a kind democratisation of Doublespeak, freeing up the process of deliberately misleading the public from the shackles of the media to the more libertarian ideal which puts lying into the public domain.
Facebook and Google have responded to the allegations that they have become the promotional tools for those who spread fake news – which is another way of saying post-truth.
Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg took to Facebook to make his case. You can read his comments in full , but the key bits are as follows: “Our goal is to give every person a voice. We believe deeply in people. Assuming that people understand what is important in their lives and that they can express those views has driven not only our community, but democracy overall. Sometimes when people use their voice though, they say things that seem wrong and they support people you disagree with.”
He continued: “more than 99 per cent of what people see is authentic” and “we don't want any hoaxes on Facebook.
“Our goal is to show people the content they will find most meaningful, and people want accurate news. We have already launched work enabling our community to flag hoaxes and fake news, and there is more we can do here. We have made progress, and we will continue to work on this to improve further.
“This is an area where I believe we must proceed very carefully though. Identifying the ‘truth’ is complicated.”
But what Facebook and Google do say that they are banning web sites from advertising on their sites which spread fake news.
Of course, if you move beyond social media and look at the traditional media, they are paragons of truth and never, promote intolerance.
Here is some more truth for you: 70 per cent of all facts stated in papers are made-up. Or is that a post-truth statement?