Factuality and Testimony Denial. 11 Theses on Fakes and Verification

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The question of alternative facts or fakes and fiction in social media is mostly discussed on the grounds of true-false discrimination. Central issue is the search for criteria, for the possibility of technical solutions, for justification or general verification procedures, or for possibilities of digital forensics, to name but few. This article takes a different approach by bringing the concept of witnessing into play in a new way. For what is being hurt or destroyed by the massive dissemination of lies, false facts, etc. is not the differentiation between truth and falsity, but the social function of testimonies. The consequence is a loss of social trust, "social faith" (Kant) or what can be paraphrased with the ancient concept of koinonia.