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The Past, Present & Future of Fake News

Dezinformatsiya: The Past, Present And Future Of ‘Fake News’

The 21st century West is now a place of permanent surveillance, where ever more sophisticated technologies of observation compile a ceaseless record of the real. From satellite imaging to signal intercepts, CCTV cameras to the harvesting of metadata, ours is a society that scours itself in secrecy and suspicion.

At the same time, it is a society of perpetual confession, of insistent and enthusiastic exhibition. Today’s social media user can hardly wait to announce what is unfolding as it happens – to engage with the flow of events, to be noticed, to interact. Every passing moment is documented somewhere, and to be alive in the 21st century is to leave a data trail, whether one wishes to or not. Every retweet, every Yelp review, every snapshot posted to Instagram is both a trace and an expression of one’s self. Every Facebook post, every Amazon purchase, every Netflix selection is an identity statement, not to say a contribution to the torrent of information on which the new social media empires have been built. All this, too, is a record of the real: endless strata of incremental revelation to be mined for profit and pressed into the service of persuasion.

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