Disinformation and Misinformation – Human Rights

Disinformation, misinformation, and malinformation are the more precise words for the widely overused and highly problematic term “fake news” – a description that has been co-opted by authoritarians, undermines journalism, and endangers journalists/media workers. Disinformation and misinformation relate to trust in media institutions, journalists, and reporting, and is hardly a new phenomenon. While both disinformation and misinformation both refer to inaccurate or misleading information, according to the Global Disinformation Index (GDI), the difference between them is the nature of the intent. Misinformation is considered as more of a reporting ‘mistake’ that may or may not be spread intentionally, while disinformation is always purposefully and maliciously disseminated. Myriad organisations and initiatives have been established to address disinformation, misinformation, and malinformation – otherwise known as propaganda – and multiple resources exist as well.

Recommended COVID-19 misinformation and disinformation resources:

  • MediaDev Insider issue on COVID-19 misinformation and disinformation (GFMD)

  • Resources for tackling COVID-19 misinformation and disinformation (GFMD resource list)

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