The proliferation of misinformation poses an urgent threat to democratic societies around the world. False or misleading news reports can spread faster than Covid-19, while insidious forms of emerging media challenge the very foundation of our information ecosystem. Misinformation can destabilize political elections, thwart legislation, sabotage businesses, and ruin reputations.

There are many different forms of misinformation circulating today. The U.S. is both a hotbed for the production of misinformation and a destination where its effects can be acutely felt. But before delving into the reach and consequences of such media, it is important that we establish some basic context and definitions.

What is misinformation anyway?

Reference Background theme image from Raphael Hadas-Lebel, “Can Fake News be Outlawed?” The Daily Star, January 23, 2018.

1 of 18