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Misinformation, Disinformation, Fake News, and Algorithms: Finding Out What’s What

Terms and Definitions

Term

Definition

Source

misinformation

“false information that is spread, regardless of whether there is intent to mislead.”

Dictionary.com

disinformation

“deliberately misleading or biased information; manipulated narrative or facts; propaganda.”

Dictionary.com

fake news

“false news stories, often of a sensational nature, created to be widely shared or distributed for the purpose of generating revenue, or promoting or discrediting a public figure, political movement, company, etc.”

Dictionary.com

algorithm

"Instructions for solving a problem or completing a task. Recipes are algorithms, as are math equations. Computer code is algorithmic. The internet runs on algorithms and all online searching is accomplished through them.

“Code-Dependent: Pros and Cons of the Algorithm Age,” Pew Research Center