disinformation, Facebook, fake news, internet, Internet Research Agency, misinformation, post-truth
The now-popular buzzword “fake news” gets thrown around a lot today by many different players. In fact, it has become so central to our current political issues that Oxford Dictionaries designated “post-truth” as the international word of the year in 2016. But what does “fake news” actually mean? For a term with so much importance, there is surprisingly little agreement on its definition.
Scholarship thus far has primarily focused on breaking down different meanings of the term based on distinguishing between “truthful” and “false” information. This has most commonly been done by delineating between the concepts of misinformation and disinformation. The key difference between these two terms is the intentionality behind them. Specifically, misinformation is typically understood as false information that is spread unintentionally, such as a social media user sharing a false story or rumor without realizing that it is untrue. Disinformation, in contrast, is information…
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