Chris MacLean's picture
After Truth: Disinformation and the Cost of Fake News
Posted on Mar 29, 2020

While disinformation has long been used as military tool against adversaries, the ease of widespread access created by social media has led to all sorts of manipulation that shows no sign of stopping.

The predecessor of "fake news" was the "spin doctor" who downplayed negatives and searched for obscure (or sometimes questionable) positives, but now it appears that repeating something often enough really does make it true to millions of minds.

A new HBO documentary, "After Truth: Disinformation and the Cost of Fake News" directed by Andrew Rossi, explores the exploding phenomenon of fake news and its impact on the general public. 

With on-camera interviews, director Rossi highlights the intense damage being done and the fear being induced by false stories.

Through deep data dives and case studies, he traces direct links – from dubious source to widespread acceptance – to reveal how quickly these stories spread and how truth is becoming increasingly difficult to identify.  

As one unapologetic fake news creator asks: "What is truth?"

At its core, we find that this hunger for manipulation is rooted in opportunism, greed, a desire for power – and a complete disregard for the ethics of humanity. As a resource, fake news is being woven into everything from politics to product reviews. It is impossible to comprehend the full extent with which we are all being manipulated every day.

The spiderweb impact of "fake news" and the basic gullibility of populations is much more than troubling, it is alarming and mind-numbingly intimidating.

"After Truth" is streaming on HBO now, and I recommend taking an hour and a half out of your day to watch it and then consider if there is any hope for society.

I'd love to hear your views.

– Chris MacLean​