My investigative project explores social media platforms’ fact-checking, debunking, and verification policies, the development of which has been accelerating. Their growth is unsurprising, given that militarisation of cyberspace has increased the stakes on rating systems that help users distinguish between ‘true’ and ‘fake’. What is striking is how little clarity the race for truth provides. The very difference between ‘true’ and ‘fake’ in such policies is self-referential, with implicit definitions of ‘true’ as what is ‘not false’ and vice versa. To analyse these core terms, I focus on how something is rendered ‘true’ or ‘fake’ rather than what. Informed by interviews with thinkers and practitioners of cyberwar, the process-oriented approach allows me to dissect this binary as a loop—a ‘Circuit of Truth’ whose polarisation only arises when its core terms are placed in opposition to each other.
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On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.
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Engelhardt, A. Circuits of truth: Process-oriented approach to digital fakes and authenticity. Digi War 3, 78–82 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1057/s42984-022-00059-0