Insight

2020 Predictions - Trust, Trump and NewSpeak 2.0

January 02, 2020

POTUS Donald John Trump is quite the president. He shoots tweets like a cowboy, he harasses foreign leaders, and he creates the news he wants to hear and see. And so does China. And a village in Russia. And the bad folks lurking on the Dark Web. Either they create the stories themselves or an AI does it.

Either way, fake news is the new normal and we need to be vigilant about it. With the speed and evolution of web communication today, as well as the reach of news and SoMe outlets, I predict an actualisation of Orwell’s NewSpeak from Oceania:


[…] the ruling Party created Newspeak, a controlled language of restricted grammar and limited vocabulary, meant to limit the freedom of thought — personal identity, self-expression, free will […]” [1] [2]

George Orwell

Fake News


I see a similar pattern in the mix between SoMe, AI and fake news. We are all consuming copious amounts of information via all the digital channels, and with such a plethora of senders, we cannot decipher what is real and what is fake.

Algorithms are tailoring our views and experiences with content, and for personalisation it can be good – but they can also promote fake news. And those with bad intentions can slowly affect our perception of things by making some words more popular than others. Sadly, I predict a rise in ‘lightly trusted and easily adopted’ new ways of speaking. I do see a potential global discussion on the role of tech companies in moderating fake news and them taking a stand. Maybe Richard from the fictive Pied Piper has the solution:

“[…] And the way we win is by creating a new, democratic, decentralized Internet, one where the behavior of companies like this will be impossible, forever. One where it is the users, not the kings, who have sovereign control over their data. This, I promise to you: I will help you end this tyranny by building an Internet that is of the people, by the people, and for the people, so help me God.” [3]

Tech companies will be forced to be part of the discussion. They can no longer play the “we are just the medium” card. They need to actively engage with governments to try and support a positive impact on society.

Final thoughts

So, where does this leave us all? I don't think that everyone suddenly becomes sustainability supporting, consumption-aware, Marie Kondo-loving consumers, who are constructively aware of news and the effect of media and content.

I do think that organisations will adapt to the changing circumstances, which again will be determined by the behaviour of the consumers. Paradigm shifts only happen when the technology is adequate for the maturity of society. However, I do also predict a re-focusing on organisational rethinking. New organisational structures are not going to cut it in the next decade. We are going to need 'change readiness', 'hyper-flexibility', and fun.

Last, but not least, the future is exciting. So much to learn, change, become, and enable. We have so many opportunities - and responsibilities - which makes today a very exciting time to be alive.

[1] HBO Silicon Valley – Season 6 Episode 1
[2] Wikipedia – Newspeak
[3] George Orwell - 1984

Curious for more?

Read about:

Intro to 2020 Predictions

(Non-)Sustainable habits

The Walking Browsing Dead

Organisational OS 2.0

 

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