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News and Media: Misinformation and Disinformation


Misinformation and disinformation can spread rapidly and on multiple platforms and can be another form of "fake news". 

Bots, trolls, social media and message boards - even word of mouth - can spread misinformation, disinformation and propaganda.

Below are information and tools to help you recognize the various concepts. 

What is DISinformation?

people using phone while standing

Disinformation is fake, false, misleading or inaccurate information that is deliberately created and shared with the intention to mislead others. For example, for political or financial gain.  

Disinformation moving to Misinformation

Fake news could start out as disinformation, that is news that has been deliberately made up and shared to mislead others. With this news, it can eventually end up being misinformation as people have shared false content accidentally who haven't evaluated and fact-checked the source and are disseminating inaccurate information. 



These are stories or false facts that are deliberately created to mislead readers and to promote a biased point of view or particular political set of ideas or agenda. 

What is MISinformation?

person in gray sweater wearing black and silver chronograph watch

Misinformation is false, misleading or inaccurate information that may not have been created deliberately to deceive or mislead others. The story may have been inadvertently created.

Who enjoys sharing false information?

Bots and trolls are key players in the sharing of false news.


Bots are fake accounts that are programmed to spread a story to as many people as possible. Bots can automatically generate messages, advocate ideas, act as a follower of users and to gain followers itself.



person in black hoodie using laptop computer

Trolls are real persons with real accounts who like to post negative comments, harass, tease, torment and intimidate other people online but hide behind the computer screen or mobile phone. Trolls are actual people who leave provocative, offensive and hurtful messages on the internet in order to get attention, cause trouble or upset someone.