Two hundred years have passed since the question of subjectivity (re-interpreted through Kierkegaard’s existentialism) became central in modern philosophy. Over these two centuries, multiple theories addressed and questioned the borders between authentic subjectivity and an internalized panopticon of the hegemonic views that dominate the subject. Nevertheless, they still have to be definitively defined. As we may try to point Fake News (FN) is an opponent to subjectivity, and yet it comes from the subject. FN is the intentional spreading through new technologies of false information on a global level by subjects that use social media, a process influencing not only the sense of socio-political reality but also the concept of identity. Identities (personal or collective) are in general the combination of the socially determined understanding of ‘who I am’ and the socially and psychologically influenced ‘mental model’ of ‘what the world - and the self within it - should be’, all expressed and produced under the fundamental influence of our idiosyncratic characteristics.
One of the fields that all these factors meet and interact is the new mediated environment where almost everyone can participate and contribute. According to the Sociology of Communication as founded by Giddens, Habermas and Luckmann (Leydesdorff 2000) this makes the public part of our identity the dominant one, creating a ritual in which our narcissistic elements dominate our private ones. The Self, addressing itself into the public like an echo and back to the Self, becomes ritualized. In our paper, we explore the interrelation of this phenomenon with the creation and distribution of Fake News, from the vantage point of Kierkegaard’s existential philosophy.
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