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"

On May 25th, 2022 in Paris, a group of notable media and communications scholars met at Sciences Po for a pre-conference before the annual International Communications Association (ICA) event. The titular prompt for the pre-conference was a question that has preoccupied researchers for some time now: “What comes after disinformation studies?” The pre-conference was prompted […]

A bipartisan group of three U.S. senators urged Meta’s Facebook, Twitter and Telegram to do a better job of stopping Russian efforts to spread Spanish-language disinformation about the invasion of Ukraine. Senators Bob Menendez, chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, sent the letters, dated Wednesday, along with Senators Tim Kaine, also a Democrat, and […]

Nina Jankowicz was the subject of online attacks from the moment she was named head of the newly created Disinformation Governance Board. Three weeks later, the Department of Homeland Security said the board’s work would be “paused.” […] Source: Disinformation Governance Board ‘paused’ after just 3 weeks – The Washington Post

Conspiracy theorists have latched on to the debate over US abortion rights on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and TikTok, leading to a spike in misinformation around what is already one of the most politically-charged topics online — and signaling the complex decision-making that lies ahead for social media companies if the procedure becomes illegal in some […]

The sheer scale of disinformat­ion on social media platforms is harming youths in India with no serious efforts shown by companies to combat the menace, says a new report.The report titled Politics of Disinfor­mation, released on Thursday by the Delhi-based non-profit Future of India Found­a­t­ion, follows discussions with youths in eight states to understand their […]

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