Algorithmic detection of misinformation and disinformation: Gricean perspectives

Søe, Sille Obelitz
Journal of Documentation

With the outset of automatic detection of information, misinformation, and disinformation, the purpose of this paper is to examine and discuss various conceptions of information, misinformation, and disinformation within philosophy of information.
The examinations are conducted within a Gricean framework in order to account for the communicative aspects of information, misinformation, and disinformation as well as the detection enterprise.
While there often is an exclusive focus on truth and falsity as that which distinguish information from misinformation and disinformation, this paper finds that the distinguishing features are actually intention/intentionality and non-misleadingness/misleadingness – with non-misleadingness/misleadingness as the primary feature. Further, the paper rehearses the argument in favor of a true variety of disinformation and extends this argument to include true misinformation.
The findings are novel and pose a challenge to the possibility of automatic detection of misinformation and disinformation. Especially the notions of true disinformation and true misinformation, as varieties of disinformation and misinformation, which force the true/false dichotomy for information vs mis-/disinformation to collapse.