Fact-checking or opinion-trial? Fact-checking as political discourse is Machiavelli's Dossier #1, by Daniele Scalea.

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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

The dominant narrative holds that we are now in the "politics of post-truth," in which the spread of fake news is facilitating the rise of the populist Right. This has led to an exaltation of the role of so-called "fact-checking" and measures, both corporate and legislative, to institute censorship tools and punishments for alleged fake news. However, the idea that we are now in a new political phase, that of "post-truth", is questionable.
A source of concern, however, is the practice observed in fact-checking: far from limiting itself to ascertaining established and indisputable facts, the same methods are applied to sift opinions and judge whether they are "true" or "false". Fact-checking proves to be epistemologically and methodologically flawed, refusing to adopt scientific criteria for the selection of cases to be examined and for the examination itself. Behind the presumed objective verification of facts often hides an attempt to delimit the opinions that are legitimate to express, delegitimizing others as "false". This calls for the utmost caution in combating "fake news" so that it does not become partisan censorship.

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Dossier 1 - Accertare i fatti o processare le opinioni
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Founder and President of Centro Studi Machiavelli. Graduated in Historical Sciences (University of Milan) and PhD in Political Studies (Sapienza University), he is professor of "History and doctrine of jihadism" and "Geopolitics of the Middle East" at Cusano University. From 2018 to 2019 he was Special Advisor on Immigration and Terrorism to the Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs Guglielmo Picchi. His latest book (written with Stefano Graziosi) is Trump contro tutti. L'America (e l'Occidente) al bivio.