Responding To The Post-truth Phenomenon

In 2016, the Oxford Dictionaries declared that their Word Of The Year was to be "post-truth", which they defined as:

"relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief"

This decision reflects the way in which the concept of post-truth has quickly become a widely-acknowledged phenomenon and a mainstream concern. It should be of particular concern to those, such as librarians, with a professional interest in the provision of access to accurate information.

The natural response to this issue is to press for a greater awareness of and education in information literacy, and this is certainly an important consideration. However, a wider range of technical and practical issues in knowledge organisation and information management can also be brought to bear on this.

Much of the attention and effort from the DCMI community over the last two decades has been concerned with the development of technologies and practices to use metadata to improve the precision and accuracy of information.

How should the metadata community respond to the rise of the post-truth phenomenon? Does metadata have a part to play in helping people to identify objectively accurate information?

The DCMI community ought to have a view on this and so, in order to help us develop this, we are pleased to announce that David Clarke will present and moderate a plenary session, Developing a Metadata Community Response to the Post-Truth Information Age at the DCMI 2017 conference, where delegates will have the chance to explore and discuss this issue in depth.

It is not too late to register for DCMI 2017!