Misinformation is “false information shared by someone who believes it to be true.”

Misinformation is in direct contrast to verifiable facts. It is not necessarily something that is consciously disseminated for a nefarious purpose. It could be a rumor that is overheard or misheard. Or, it could be something shared by accident or with the sincere belief that it is actually true; for example, a news article with incorrect dates or statistics, events that never occurred, or inaccurate photo captions.

Reference Claire Wardle, “Journalism and the New Information Ecosystem: Responsibilities and Challenges” in Fake News: Understanding Media and Misinformation in the Digital Age, ed. Melissa Zimdars and Kembrew McLeod (Cambridge: MIT Press, 2020), 71-73. Background theme image from Shutterstock.

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