Covid-19 was a problem, for sure. But misinformation and fake news turned out to be an even bigger virus that needed to be managed.
Between Trump and deep fakes, the last couple of years have shown us that a Ministry of Truth might actually do more good than harm. If we have agencies safeguarding and testing which food products and medicines can be sold, to protect our health and physical well-being, then surely, it’s not too radical to have a dedicated team protecting our minds and mental well-being? Besides, it might greatly reduce the cognitive load for the average citizen, trying to decipher what’s real and what’s fake, right?
Estonia was the first to decide that it was time for a Department of Truth. Everyone believed that the experiment was working surprisingly well, until last week. In what must surely be one of the biggest political scandals of the decade, a whistleblower went online and revealed that the government has been falsifying population statistics for the last eight years.
It seems the number of 20-35-year-olds has been vastly misrepresented when the official figures and profile data were passed onto the Russian authorities – gravely concerned about their aging population. Russian businesses were actively luring younger Estonians to their workforce and catering for their needs. The young Estonians didn’t think twice about leaving, because no at home one was really paying attention to this ‘missing middle’ cohort.
The Estonian government denies any wrongdoing. They claim that it’s been a large-scale and extremely sophisticated hacking attempt by the Russians and that many of their own failed policies for youth are now making sense for the first time.
So, which one is it? No one knows for sure, and now we’re all just left even more confused than before. The Minister of Truth has resigned – or so we’re told…