Fake News and Post-Truth

Date:       Monday 17th April 2017, 7.30pm 
Venue:    the back room of the Tiger Inn, Lairgate, Beverley, East Yorkshire, HU17 8JG

In the final war of the Roman Republic Octavian used a campaign of disinformation to aid his victory over Marc Anthony, later changing his name to Augustus and dispatching a flattering and youthful image of himself throughout the Empire, continuing to use the image in to his old age. Political propaganda and spreading untruths is nothing new but the internet has greatly increased the ability of unscrupulous media sources to spread lies and untruths. On the 28th anniversary of the creation of the world web web its inventor, Humanist Tim Berners-Lee has written an open letter suggesting that there should be a “crack down” on fake news sites on the internet which he says damages democracy and a political campaign for regulation of the internet. Others will be concerned that increasing media regulation will itself stifle democracy and free speech and end the openness of the web. Who decides what is and is not “fake news”?

Our April 2017 meeting was a discussion of Fake News and Post-Truth led by our chair, John Hawkins.

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