Over the last two decades, the ubiquity of digital infrastructures has brought about numerous drastic changes to a globalized world. One of the most pressing socio-political questions on a global scale is how digitization has changed the ways in which particular truths are enacted and established in everyday life. On the one hand, this addresses the practices of truth-making in political contexts: “post-truth” and “fake news” not only dominated the last US presidential election, but have also long since become decisive factors in political upheaval in Europe, South America and Asia. Social media have become crucial platforms for political meaning-making as well as the constitution of emotional beliefs and “alternative facts”. But the question of the specifics of practices of digital truth-making also encompasses much more than the sphere of the political. In the context of platform economies or crypto currency, for example, new ways of measuring and comparing the value of goods have prevailed that create economic value and thus constitute economic truths. In the field of health, software programs and apps have long been institutionalized as instrument of biological measuring and thus make and re-shape the truths of our bodies. In science, the truth of climate change has become an extremely contested object of digital (often visual) meaning-making. And in the field of memory cultures, numerous digital platforms have emerged as repositories of cultural heritage, while implicitly or explicitly curating the truth of particular histories. The list could be continued.
Following these and further examples, the 7th conference of the dgv-working group “Digitization in Everyday Life” at the Humboldt University of Berlin will examine concrete practices of digital truth-making. These practices always build on complex digital infrastructures whose specific quality with regard to truth-making is increasingly dependent on the relation of human practice and programmed algorithms. Today, these digital algorithms and the policies inscribed in them decisively contribute to and shape everyday truths. Taking this into account, we aim for a discussion of the particular role of algorithmic affordances in relation to everyday practices and how truths are constituted in-between these dimensions.