VIDEO FOR MISINFORMATION
These Experts Help Explain "Misinformation" In 2018
These experts around information, the environment, technology, medicine, activism, and journalism help us explain why we chose "misinformation" as 2018's Word of the Year.
Origin of misinformation
Words nearby misinformation
MISINFORMATION VS. DISINFORMATION
What's the difference between misinformation and disinformation?
Misinformation refers to false information, regardless of whether or not it’s intended to mislead or deceive people. Disinformation, in contrast, refers to false information that’s spread with the specific intent of misleading or deceiving people.
Due to their similarity, the terms are sometimes used in overlapping ways. All disinformation is misinformation, but not all misinformation is disinformation. Disinformation is the more specific of the two because it always implies that the false information is being provided or spread on purpose.
Disinformation is especially used in the context of large-scale deception, such as a disinformation campaign by a government that targets the population of another country. Misinformation can be spread with the intent to trick people or just because someone incorrectly thinks it’s true.
This distinction can also be seen in the difference between their verb forms, misinform and disinform. To misinform someone is to provide them with wrong information, but it doesn’t necessarily mean it was intentional. Disinform, which is much less commonly used, means to intentionally provide or spread false information.
One way to remember the difference between misinformation and disinformation is to remember that misinformation can be a mistake, while disinformation is not just false but dishonest.
Here’s an example of misinformation and disinformation used correctly in a sentence.
Example: The intelligence report concluded that the rumors spread prior to the election were not simply the result of misinformation but rather of coordinated disinformation by a foreign power.
Want to learn more? Read the full breakdown of the difference between misinformation and disinformation.
Quiz yourself on misinformation vs. disinformation!
Should misinformation or disinformation be used in the following sentence?
The government spread _____ about the location of their army in hopes of tricking the enemy.
How to use misinformation in a sentence
Over the years, QAnon has demonstrated some of the dangers of letting misinformation flourish online.Evangelicals are looking for answers online. They’re finding QAnon instead.|Abby Ohlheiser|August 26, 2020|MIT Technology Review
Content from 10 websites spreading health misinformation received almost four times as many estimated views on Facebook as content from 10 reliable sources, such as the World Health Organization and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.Health misinformation pages got half a billion views on Facebook in April|Charlotte Jee|August 19, 2020|MIT Technology Review
During the 2018 presidential election that brought Bolsonaro into office, WhatsApp became a platform for widespread misinformation, most of it favoring Bolsonaro, according to an analysis by the Guardian.Brazil is sliding into techno-authoritarianism|Tate Ryan-Mosley|August 19, 2020|MIT Technology Review
Consumers are becoming more and more aware of the dangers of misinformation and bias on the web.SEO in the second half of 2020: Five search opportunities to act on now|Jim Yu|August 17, 2020|Search Engine Watch
In its own blog post, the lab focused on the AI tool’s potential to be weaponized as a mass producer of misinformation.
(Referenda tend to be expensive, rife with misinformation, and favorable to extreme positions).Is It Time to Take a Chance on Random Representatives?|Michael Schulson|November 8, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Back then, mystery and misinformation were the coins of the realm.Digging the Gold in Dylan’s ‘Basement’|Malcolm Jones|November 5, 2014|DAILY BEAST
We apologize for any misinformation that may have been shared with students.Ebola Racism Reaches a New Low in Texas|Abby Haglage|October 15, 2014|DAILY BEAST
In the eyes of Barmmy, distrust of the medical world runs deeper than misinformation alone.Courageous Filmmakers Are Fighting Ebola On Screen|Abby Haglage|August 20, 2014|DAILY BEAST
But so much of the backlash against the Common Core is built on misinformation.The Incredibly Stupid War on the Common Core|Charles Upton Sahm|April 21, 2014|DAILY BEAST
These statements are fairly good examples of the misinformation and erratic statements the “Emperor” gave the committee.The Modern Ku Klux Klan|Henry Peck Fry
Here's a better idea: start intercepting the spy's communications and feed him and his masters misinformation.Little Brother|Cory Doctorow
Why so much misinformation about snakes exists is a mystery.Outdoor Sports and Games|Claude H. Miller
But this order, in consequence of some misinformation, did not correctly describe the situation of the ships.The History of England from the Accession of James II.|Thomas Babington Macaulay
The result is a most remarkable jumble of misinformation and fiction, with which Field plied Garland to the top of his bent.Eugene Field, A Study In Heredity And Contradictions|Slason Thompson