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What is disinformation?

                      How to identify how reliable information or a source may be

 

Disinformation is false information which is intended to mislead. Intentionally misleading information or Disinformation is ubiquitous and can be extremely dangerous. If people are misled by deceptive advertising, government propaganda, doctored photographs, forged documents, fake maps, internet frauds, fake websites, they can be harmed in several levels (emotional, physical etc.). In order to deal with this serious threat to information quality, people need to improve understanding of the nature and scope of disinformation. One way to understand disinformation is by identifying and classifying the various types of disinformation, such as lies, spin, and rumors. If we are aware of the definition and the various ways that people might try to mislead, we will be in a better position to avoid being duped by intentionally misleading information. 

The creation, dissemination, and consumption of disinformation and fabricated content on social media is a growing concern, especially with the ease of access to such sources, and the lack of awareness of the existence of such false information. So we have to be very careful of what sites we trust to be informed. They have to be valid and reliable. In addition, we must be careful in comments that may contain a news item on TV, in the newspaper or in the media. 

You can find the definition of disinformation in the following link: https://www.dictionary.com/browse/disinformation

 

What is misinformation?

How to identify how reliable information or a source may be

 

Misinformation is defined as “false information that is spread, regardless of whether there is intent to mislead”. Thus, according to the business insider, the information referred to is false or inaccurate and is often spread regardless of an intent to deceive. Generally, the mistakes that are being made in this form, can also be considered unintentional. 

Misinformation is related to the verb misinform, which means “to give wrong or misleading information to” and it was first recorded around 1350–1400. It is obvious to the reader that misinform, like misinformation, also makes no mention of why this wrong information is being spread around, only that it is.

The spread of misinformation is a common fact in our everyday lives. As human beings, living in the 21st century, we have unlimited access to technology. As a result, we accept all the information shared with us, without taking the time to check whether what is reported is valid or not. Therefore, by spreading the information that comes in front of you, can lead to misinforming the people around you. However, even though the basic human right of the freedom of speech should be respected, the frequent incidents of misinformation can lead to disastrous consequences. Taking this into serious consideration, international companies that work in the sphere of the internet have launched initiatives to tackle misinformation since it can easily damage the perspective of a number of issues and finally become disinformation. 

To sum up, misinformation is not a matter of intent, and so is simply a term for any kind of wrong or false information. 

 

You can find the definition of misinformation in the following link: https://www.dictionary.com/browse/misinformation 

 

Combined conclusion

Nevertheless, it is of significant importance for everyone to know how to spot mis- and disinformation online to avoid spreading falsehoods and to be critical when going through online news, and particularly through social media. 

 

Some good practices to mitigating disinformation are via education, research, and collaboration with people who are trusted. In addition, we must keep in mind that misinformation is often found in everyday life, even though art. That is why we need to develop critical thinking so that we can distinguish between correct and reliable information and disinformation.

In the end, it should be noted that in the Greek language the words misinformation and disinformation have exactly the same translation and the same meaning. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

List of links with suggestions:

Identifying Fake News - Fake News - Research Guides at Ryerson University Library

Fighting disinformation | European Commission (europa.eu)

 

#ThinkBeforeSharing - Stop the spread of conspiracy theories (unesco.org)

 

Fake news and disinformation online Publications Office of the EU (europa.eu)

 

"Fake News" Resources - Teaching Kids News

 

Fake News - BBC News

References:

Business Insider. 2021. Misinformation vs. disinformation: What to know about each form of false information, and how to spot them online. [online] Available at: <https://www.businessinsider.com/misinformation-vs-disinformation>

 

Floridi, L., & Illari, P. (Eds.). (2014). The philosophy of information quality (Vol. 358). Cham: Springer.

 

Shu, K., Bhattacharjee, A., Alatawi, F., Nazer, T. H., Ding, K., Karami, M., & Liu, H. (2020). Combating disinformation in a social media age. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Data Mining and Knowledge Discovery, 10(6), e1385.

 

Strauss, V., 2018. Word of the year: misinformation. Here’s why. [online] The Washington Post. Available at: <https://www.washingtonpost.com/education/2018/12/10/word-year-misinformation-heres-why/>.

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