Keywords: Fake News; Post-truth; Semiotics; Philosophy of Language; Digital Media.
Fake news has been a relevant topic of public debate since at least 2016, together with the cultural and epistemological context in which it flourishes: post-truth. To fully understand this phenomenon, we have to avoid any technological determinism, which would relate the rise of fake news and post-truth to innovations such as digital media. While digital media has certainly fostered both post-truth and fake news, we should take into consideration other factors, too, such as the crisis of liberal democracies and the distrust towards traditional social institutions. The discussion of these topics will also highlight certain aspects of these phenomena which are relevant to semiotics and philosophy of language. Another preliminary theme to be examined when dealing with post-truth and fake news is the problem of truth. We will discuss the differences between a constructivist and a realist approach and propose a way to reconcile them though the concept of "technology" recently introduced by Maurizio Ferraris in this debate.