Misinformation and disinformation

These words have different meanings.

Misinformation is an old word meaning incorrect or inaccurate information:

In the popular press there is much misinformation about the mechanics of gene expression.

Disinformation is a newer word meaning information intended to deceive.

Persuading the population of the need for war would require both crude and sophisticated forms of disinformation.

Misinformation arises from ignorance; disinformation is designed to mislead. Misinformation might therefore be considered the lesser of these two evils – if that’s not too strong a word – because unlike disinformation it does not imply deliberate duplicity. Both terms are associated with propaganda, disinformation especially so.

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4 Responses to Misinformation and disinformation

  1. [...] Speaking of which, here is the difference between misinformation and disinformation. [...]

  2. sarra says:

    Smiled to see this! Relates exactly to my favourite notice-board: http://www.flickr.com/photos/chaiwallah/2452922819/

    Wonder if ‘uninformation’ will make it into currency too (was on one of the other sides of the blackboard-obelisk). Initially thought of a complete lack of information content, but could also be something provided by the hopelessly uninformed. Hmm…

  3. Stan says:

    sarra: That’s quite a notice board. Thanks for showing me. I think non-information would work as a lack of information content; then uninformation could be, as you put it, “something provided by the hopelessly uninformed”. Keep me informed!

  4. Danny Tukes says:

    I love it;

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