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Updated Dec 20, 2016 at 03:19PM EST by Adam.

Added Dec 19, 2016 at 03:13PM EST by Adam.

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"Post-truth" is a term used to describe a culture where debate is largely centered on appeals to emotion rather than fact, with emphasis on the assertion of talking points over history. The word came to prominence in 2016 following the events of Brexit and the 2016 United States Presidential Election of Donald Trump.


What is currently understood to be "post-truth" may have its origin in George Orwell's novel 1984, which tells of a future where the government alters history to fit its propaganda.[1] The term "post-truth" was coined by playwright Steve Tesich writing for The Nation about the Iran-Contra scandal and the Persian Gulf war, said that “we, as a free people, have freely decided that we want to live in some post-truth world.”[2]


The term began appearing more often in the mid-2000s associated with politics, particularly George W. Bush's America after 9/11. "Post-truth Politics" was coined by blogger David Roberts in 2010, who defined the term as "a political culture in which politics (public opinion and media narratives) have become almost entirely disconnected from policy (the substance of legislation)."[3]

2016 Word of the Year

In 2016, the Oxford Dictionaries named "post-truth" their word of the year after a year which saw a 2,000% increase in its usage. The word was particularly associated with the Brexit and Donald Trump campaigns, spiking in June, the month of the Brexit vote and Trump winning the 2016 Republican Presidential Primary. On December 19th, 2016, DailyKOS[4] published a webcomic by Tom Tomorrow that demonstrated the many facets of how the current state of the planet made it a "post-truth world."

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