After 2022, it’s hard to tell for sure.
And going forward, public life is going to be even more rumor-driven than it is now.
Any video, any voiceover, any photograph–we can’t be sure. If YouTube or the Wayback Machine shows us that it happened after 2022, bring some doubt. AI and digital tools can produce a perfect voiceover, edit a video, forge a document…
There have always been forces at work that prize disrupting our civic systems. But thanks to AI and digital deepfakes, it’s significantly easier to create and spread a story that simply didn’t happen. A speech that was never given, an interview that never occurred.
Before mass media, every citizen only had the experiences they saw firsthand–and the rumors. Sometimes they were true, often, not so much.
The ease with which someone can invent and spread lies is going to take most of us by surprise. It’s going to require an entirely new posture for understanding the world around us.
Every day is April Fools from now on, let’s not get fooled.