Generation Brexit

LSE100: Are we living in a post-truth society?

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During the Brexit vote both sides of the argument espoused empirically unsubstantiated claims. The Remain campaign warned of impending economic meltdown right after the vote to exit the EU – that did not happen. The Leave campaign notoriously promised that Brexit would enable the UK to restore the sovereignty of the Parliament. It now turns out that government minters will be able to amend repatriated EU legislation as they wish. Boris Johnson famously promised to ‘take control’ over the £350 million a week we ‘send to Brussels’ (UK’s contributions to the EU budget). We knew then that the net sum was actually around £156 million. We now know that the UK will end up paying into EU’s coffers long after it exits.

Was the proliferation of these threats and promises a hallmark of a post-truth society?

What role did social media platforms play in proliferating these unsubstantiated claims?
• Have people really had enough of experts, as Michael Gove had claimed?
• Was #ProjectFear an example of misinformation or disinformation?

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The refusal to communicate between different groups - with our egos taking precedence over facts and objective information is the main reason behind filter bubbles. While filter bubbles cannot be completely destroyed as it is inherently human to want to be correct, social media does play a massive role in encouraging these to form. The fact of the matter is, social media is owned by corporations with the main objective of profit maximisation. As such, what they want most is "clicks" - to...

You Zhen Ang
by You Zhen Ang
3 Votes
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You Zhen Ang

I sometimes wonder would we be having this conversation if the Remain side – or Mrs Clinton – had won. I have been closely following many elections in different countries for many years and did not see anything unusual in the referendum campaign. Referendums are inherently divisive: there are only two boxes in the ballot. Hence, the campaign before the vote will turn out to be divisive too – we already witnessed this in the Scottish independence referendum. Moreover, political campaigns...

Joni Vainio
by Joni Vainio
1 Votes
Comments 0
Joni Vainio

There is a traditional analogy of dictatorial regimes in art; they're presented as factories and the people as workers, whose field of view is confined to the image the dictator allows them to see. And as the camera zooms out, the dark and oppressive reality is revealed, with the dictator frantically laughing over the "enslaved". Well perhaps, there is a case to be made for such an analogy in modern democracy. And what is perhaps even more worrying, is that the dictator isn't just one, has...

Vassilis Karokis-Mavrikos
by Vassilis Karokis-Mavrikos
1 Votes
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Vassilis Karokis-Mavrikos

The fact that we are now living in a post-truth society is explained by the declining trust in experts by ordinary people. As Nichols(2017) has pointed out, people have lost their confidence in experts and have become more skeptical of the findings of the scholars, intellectual arguments and vitality are becoming less and less common.  Laypeople people believe they have got adequate knowledge and regard themselves as experts, refusing to believe in what the “true” experts advocate....

Wing Yin Ng
by Wing Yin Ng
1 Votes
Comments 0
Wing Yin Ng

There should be some official regulation on the validity of information available to pubic. One methodology to achieve such a result may be to use a regulated system of fact checkers. The unique advantage of fact-checking over blanket censorship, is that it does not infringe on the freedom of speech, a key tenet of democracy. Realistically, the average voter typically does not have the resources required to investigate the claims made by public figures, and are thus susceptible to to...

CCSQ
by CCSQ
1 Votes
Comments 0
CCSQ
by
CCSQ

Boris Johnson's statistic that £350 million was being paid a week to Brussels has now been debunked, the UK has (theoretically) agreed to a sum of £50 billion as the divorce bill from the EU and Theresa May's promise of a complete and clean exit from the EU is coming under threat with today's news that Northern Ireland and Ireland have agreed to close and continued regulatory alignment with EU Laws and Regulations. Is this the future of democracy where threats and promises made previously...

Chiraag Thadani
by Chiraag Thadani
1 Votes
Comments 0
Chiraag Thadani

Misinformation is heavily damaging in shaping the opinions of citizens, and can influence them to make decisions based on false understandings of critical and prominent issues. It may take the form of fake news, or inaccuracies in what is presented to be the truth by information sites or politicians. While fake news has always been a problem present in society, the advent of the information age has arguably exacerbated this problem, since it allows for easy access to and rapid spreading of...

Natasha Teh
by Natasha Teh
1 Votes
Comments 0
Natasha Teh

As the Brexit Leave campaign illustrates, more definitely needs to be done in educating social media users to be critical towards the information they come across online. And this education needs to start at an early age. The majority of people have access to a device connecting them to the world wide web. There, they are exposed to a variety of information that may or may not be true. Therefore, efforts need to be directed in encouraging internet users to become more critical/cautious of...

Cesca
by Cesca
1 Votes
Comments 0
Cesca
by
Cesca

In terms of addressing the problem that a "post-truth" society poses to democracy, I would say that education is probably the best way to do that. Teaching people to critically assess the information that they see would significantly reduce the effectiveness of fake news by allowing people to spot fake news and misinformation.  Short term solutions like outright banning fake news create problems with freedom of speech, and fact-checking bodies don't deal with the problem that a...

Jkcwong
by Jkcwong
2 Votes
Comments 1
Jkcwong
by
Jkcwong

I think the main problem that caused a lack of trust in experts or democratic institutions is the lack of educational experiences. People can't really tell the nature of a political issue, they don't actually understand what Brexit is, they just follow other voices or their ego to make irrational decisions. All we can do is to give more education to change the current status, and increase the quality and depth of the education.

Tommy Shi
by Tommy Shi
3 Votes
Comments 0
Tommy Shi
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