Editorial: Post-Truth & Cyberspace

Issue 14 (Spring 2021), pp. 1-3



Editorial: Post-Truth & Cyberspace

Zoya Rezanova           Olga Sologub
Tomsk State University           National Taiwan University

The foundations of interface issue 14 were laid in the 10th International on European Languages in South-East Asia, held in the National Taiwan University on 15-16 November, 2019, where “Post-Truth” was announced as one of the central themes.

The problem of post-truth has become extremely acute in our hyperinformation age due to the rapid development of various information flows creating virtual not relevant to reality interpretation of facts and events and meant to manipulate public consciousness in someone’s interests. These processes have become global nowadays. As a consequence the issue of post-truth is no longer narrow and local; but it has acquired a global inter-disciplinary nature and made an impact upon the formation and development of the newest approaches to studying present-day philological issues aimed at understanding of new discursive practices and primarily the discourse of lies.

Ample evidence of this claim is provided by the articles presented in this issue, prepared by authoritative specialists in this field who participated in the Russian Language section of the Symposium (L.G Kim, Kemerovo State University; M.A. Litovskaya, the National Chengchi University), as well as by the invited specialist L.I. Yermolenkina (Tomsk State Pedagogical University). The work of these researchers uncovers internal mechanisms of creating distorted views concerning facts of reality; reveals the manipulative potential of new discursive practices; and describes ways of manipulating. Understanding of the post-truth phenomenon contributes to the identification of both general mechanisms regarding formation and functioning of discourse of lies, and features of its manifestation in particular discursive practices (social networks’ communication, literary-critical discourse, etc.).

Thus, L.G. Kim in her article “Fake Content in Social Networks in Relation to the Addressee Factor (based on fakes about coronavirus)” raises a problem of ‘fakes’ that is extremely topical in the modern field of Internet media research. Based on the provision that creating and spreading fakes is caused not only by the intentions of the authors but also by the intentions of the addressees’ to get quickly information which is up-to-date and presented in a form that is easy-to-understand by mass recipients, the author redirects the primary research focus by implementing an addressee-centric approach to the problem of fake content distribution in social networks. The most recent text material (fake news) is taken for analysis. It contains information about coronavirus and has been widely disseminated in mass media and Internet. The author arranges material in different ways, firstly, based on a thematic classification, secondly, on classification by the addressees’ types to whom news reports are intended. In accordance with the author’s conclusion the type of an addressee determines dictum-modus arrangement of the fake content. Such analysis made it possible to reveal internal mechanisms of this arrangement as well as language, communication and speech tools to implement them.

The article of L.I. Yermolenkina “The Specificity of the Implementation of Narrativeness in Convergent Radio Text” presents dialogic communication analysis constructed by the subjects of convergent radio discourse. During discursive analysis the author touches upon the whole spectrum of socially significant humanitarian problems of our time connected with classical media transformation. While analyzing ‘live’ text material of one of the most popular information and conversation channel ‘Echo of Moscow’ (net version) L.I. Yelmolenkina reveals the peculiarities of manipulative impact strategy upon a mass addressee. According to the author its mechanisms are based on narrative techno­logy. The article gives examples of their influence upon perception of the audience, thus the problem of mass consciousness control is tackled. Similarly to L.G. Kim, L.I. Yermolenkina pays special attention to an addressee’s attitude, which changes its communicative status in the conditions of new communicative reality: from a passive user it turns into an active subject of discourse intensely involved in the formation of its semantic space. However, this activity is skillfully directed by radio-discourse subjects, and the author tries to reveal mechanisms (incl. linguistic ones) that manage social consciousness and exercise control over it.

M.A. Litovskaya in her article “The Problem of Adapting the Facts of Literary History in the Context of the Verification Crisis: Pavel Bazhov’s Case” talks about the ways modern media interpret creative biographies of classical writers. This phenomenon is considered based on the example of the XX century Russian literature classic P.P. Bazhov underpinned by the articles and biographical books of 1980-2020 various in style and depth of comprehension. The author interprets post-truth phenomenon and its manifestation in present-day social and literary processes from philosophical and culturological viewpoints, identifies causes of disinformation flow in conditions of modern globalization, among which the author specifies insufficient objectivity of mass culture as its constitutive quality, deliberate distortion of facts in writer’s biography and his creative activities, their unreasonable evaluation in someone’s interests – all these leads to mythologization of a writer’s image.

We would like to express gratitude to the editor and editorial board of the journal for inspiration and support as well as to the authors who submitted their original, deep, interesting research works for publication, works that demonstrate the scientific-research potential of the Russian philological science.

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