Defining “Disinformation”

What are dis- and misinformation? What about propaganda and “fake news?” How are researchers and activists defining these terms, and how are those definitions evolving? This introductory literature review addresses both contemporary and historical examples of disinformation and misinformation in mass media, and discusses the importance of a unified set of definitions in the social sciences. 

Live Research Review

What are dis- and misinformation? What about propaganda and “fake news?” How are researchers and activists defining these terms, and how are those definitions evolving? This introductory research review discusses the importance of a unified set of definitions in the social sciences.

Teaching & Learning

Explore course modules, handouts, teaching tools and syllabi about dis- and misinformation.

Latest News on Defining "Disinformation"

Disinformation has been used in warfare and military strategy over time. But it is undeniably being intensified by the use of smart technologies and social media. This is because these communication technologies provide a relatively low-cost, low-barrier way to disseminate information basically anywhere. The million-dollar question then is: Can this technologically produced problem of scale […]

The Department of Communication and Media at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute invites applications for a Tenure-Track Assistant Professor in Media Studies or a related field for an appointment beginning Fall 2022. Applicants must have a Ph.D., Ed.D., or foreign degree equivalent in Media Studies, Communication, or a closely related field and evidence of successful collegiate teaching […]

David Frum, the former George W. Bush speechwriter and current never-Trump conservative, recently wrote, “The post-Trump right has a style as distinctive as its authoritarian substance: trolling, ironic, evasive.” But that ain’t so. On the right, trolling has been part of the story from the beginning. The first instances of the right-wing practice we now […]

In some rural Illinois ZIP codes, only one in five people have gotten the COVID-19 vaccine. A lack of correct information seems to play a major role. A team at the University of Illinois is investigating how misinformation about COVID-19 spreads in rural areas of the state. U of I journalism professor Nikki Usher leads the team. […]

There is a big difference between impossible and improbable and between truth and lies. The importance of these differences is amplified when we’re talking about science and critical issues of public health such as during a pandemic. We are hugely dependent on science and it is critical to almost every aspect of our lives but […]

Featured Scholars

Colorado State University
Harvard Kennedy School, Technology and Social Change Research Project
Associate Professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Wisconsin-Madison