The Ministry of Truth

Manipulating Truth

Manipulating Truth to Rewrite History

Can we believe anything we hear or see anymore? With today's advanced technology such as laptops, iPads and smartphones practically everywhere we look, it is hard to fully understand what is real and what is fake. With programs such as Photoshop, photos, videos, and sounds can be easily manipulated to portray the truth, when in reality is solely producing a counterfeit depiction of legitimacy.

The dystopian novel 1984 by George Orwell stresses on the totalitarian regime of Big Brother and the Inner Party. In Orwell’s novel, 1984, he warns us about the mind control of Big Brother and how the power of the government is continuously rising over the lives of citizens by spying and using fear to diminish their freedom and ‘rectifying’ the past. There are three sacred principles of ingsoc, these are newspeak, doublethink, and mutability of the past.

The government in 1984 uses fear against its people for control over the personal life of the people. “BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU”.This shows how much power Big Brother has generated to destroy and destruct the past over the people.

One of the issues raised in 1984 is the idea that history is mutable or changeable, that truth is what the Party deems it to be, and that the truths found in history are the bases of the principles of the future. Some Fascist German leaders of the time boasted that if you tell a lie loud enough and often enough then people will accept it as truth. The Stalinists perfected this modus operandi by re-writing people and events in and out of history or distorting historical facts to suit the Party's purposes. ‘Who controls the past controls the future: who controls the present controls the past’ runs the Party slogan in 1984. Using "Newspeak", the Party tries to control and virtually eliminate Thoughtcrime from the world, as they are creating a new language in which a person will not know how to describe the hatred or dismay they feel towards the party as there will be no words for it.

The particularities of Newspeak make it impossible to translate most older English (oldspeak) texts into the language; the introduction of the Declaration of Independence, for instance, can be translated only into a single word: crimethink.

Other examples of the truth being hidden or ignored to simply block out an entire section of world history is the Armenian Genocide during World War I. What do you call the 1915 “mass deportation” of Armenians from the Ottoman Empire (Turkey) that resulted in the death of 1.5 million people? Most historians and Armenians around the world call it genocide. The Turkish government and the United States are not among those who will officially accept the word “genocide” when speaking of the decimation of the Armenian people in the early part of the 20th Century. It’s a good bet that Turkey and its leaders do not want to use the term genocide because it would likely cost them considerable sums of money in reparations, as well as the public embarrassment they would have to endure. But what about America? No American president has officially called the mass killings that started in 1915 “genocide.” President Bush went as far as publicly urging Congress to reject a resolution on the subject.

Hardware and Software Used to Rewrite History

The hardware topic deals with a computer system consisting of input devices, output devices, and a central processing unit and storage, as opposed to software, which deals with the software associated with a typical computer system. As used in 1984 by the Party, Telescreens were television monitoring devices which prevented anyone in the land of Oceania to form any type of conspiracies or hatred against the Party or Big Brother, known to the people as Thoughtcrime, Hardware devices used for this type of would include input and output devices such as cameras and microphones, Software is the main topic that is used to actually rewrite history and turn the truth into fiction. Programs such as video and photo editing can be easily used to add a person into a picture who was not actually there, therefore manipulating the truth of a photo. These softwares can be used to transform overweight people into thin, alter colors, add and remove items, and much more.

Manipulated Truth: Transmitted and Communicated to Society.

Manipulated truth can be communicated to society by a variety of things, mainly through news sources such as newspapers, magazines, and radio stations; however most often the "untruth" is transmitted into society by internet sources. Whether you're on Facebook or texting, technology can always find a way to manipulate the truth.

There are also many ways truth can be stripped from a person while online: identify theft. Precautions that must be taken in the 21st century are tremendous; you never know if you are really chatting with who you think you are.