INFORMATION COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY IN THE ERA OF POST-TRUTH CHALLENGE: BEYOND LOGIC AND EPISTEMOLOGY

Abstract

Human actions and decisions are most of the times not only grounded on emotional reactions, they are irrationally debasing. While such emotions and heuristics were perhaps suitable for dealing with life in the Stone Age, they are woefully inadequate in the Silicon Age. The substitution of traditional news agencies and communication platforms in Nigeria with social media networks has not only increased human capacities, it has aided the common good and further eased communication and increased the human knowledge base. For instance, the Silicon Valley in the state of California in the United State of America has proved the extent to which human ingenuity can be exerted in beneficial ways. Here in, the top of the multibillion-dollar communication companies like Apple, eBay, Cisco, Lockheed, Hewlett Packard (HP), Google, Netflix, Facebook, Oracle, Tesla, etc. whose yearly budgets far exceed the entire yearly budget of Nigeria, has proved that, ICT remains the building blocks of contemporary communities. The state of California for instance prides herself as the 6th largest economy of the world after France and Brazil. This romantic picture of ICT is but only one chapter of the ICT divide. In today’s world, the scale and speed of the highly partisan news and falsehoods that circulate in the human environment is deafening. In politics and governance for instance, the populist have exploited the ICT effectively and without restraints, to access power and authority. Today, we are in the era of post-truth, an era in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief. An era that harbours corruption of intellectual integrity and damage to the whole fabric of democracy. The battle to protect information integrity and expose fake news becomes sine qua non. We shall in this paper explore the dark side of the age of information, a side that has been exploited by the media mavens, political hacks, and ideological propagandists who promote lies, illusion, confusion, and other forms of demented or manipulated imagination. In doing this, we shall proceed as follows: i. Historicize the concept of ‘fake news’ here referred to as post-truth. ii. Interrogate the concept of ‘information’ and its goal in human affairs iii. Evaluate the nexus between ‘truth’ values in ‘information’, ‘Misinformation’ and ‘dis-information’ iv. Situate the role of Philosophy in the era of post-truth.

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Alloy Ihuah
University of Lagos (PhD)

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