Geary Sikich looks at the rise of post truth, alternative facts and fake news; considers the impact on organizations; and looks at how business continuity planners can rise to meet the challenge.
If you want senior management to pay attention, give them something that challenges their focus – and understand that their focus is not on how many computers you have or RTO, RPO statistics. It is on business survivability: will we be in business tomorrow given the issues that we face today.
Some of the most recent issues facing organizations are post truth; alternative facts; and fake news. Some definitions will help to form the basis for why these terms are may create a crisis for leadership today:
Post truth: relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief:
‘In this era of post-truth politics, it’s easy to cherry-pick data and come to whatever conclusion you desire.’
‘Some commentators have observed that we are living in a post-truth age.’
Alternative facts: is a term in law to describe inconsistent sets of facts with plausible evidence to support both alternatives. In some jurisdictions, there are rules governing how a party can state two versions of the facts, such as an absence of the person’s knowledge on which one of the alternatives is true.
Fake news: (also referred to as hoax news) websites deliberately publish hoaxes, propaganda, and disinformation purporting to be real news; often using social media to drive web traffic and amplify their effect. Unlike news satire, fake news websites seek to mislead rather than entertain readers for financial, political, or other gain. Such sites have promoted political falsehoods in Germany, Indonesia and the Philippines, Sweden, Myanmar, and the United States. Many sites originate, or are promoted, from Russia, Macedonia, Romania and the USA.
The impact of these forces can create upheaval in an organization, leading to reactive response and diversion of attention instead of focusing on achieving the goals and objectives of the organization.