Dealing with disinformation

Summary:

Disinformation (the intentional spread of false and misleading information) and misinformation (the unintentional spread of false information) are not new phenomena. What is new is the ability to rapidly create, disseminate, and consume false and misleading content on a global scale via an interconnected digital media landscape. 

The hostile actors (e.g., the Kremlin-linked Internet Research Agency) who create disinformation campaigns rely on provocative, divisive, and/or disturbing content to get our attention in an immensely crowded digital media landscape. The goal is to evoke emotion. Emotions like anger, jealousy, and fear drive content resharing on social media platforms. 

Input and resources for this framework were provided by: 

Jean O’Brien with Digital Charity Lab, Maeve O’Reilly with London-Irish Abortion Rights Campaign, Jon Lloyd with Mozilla Foundation, and Anna Ridout with The Syria Campaign.

This framework was prepared and reviewed by: 

Alison Brzenchek, Sho Konno, Tom Liacas and Mary-Alice Crim.

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Disinformation (the intentional spread of false and misleading information) and misinformation (the unintentional spread of false information) are not new phenomena. What is new is the ability to rapidly create, disseminate, and consume false and misleading content on a global scale via an interconnected digital media landscape. The hostile actors (e.g., the Kremlin-linked Internet Research Agency) who create disinformation campaigns rely on provocative, divisive, and/or disturbing content to get our attention in an immensely crowded digital media landscape. The goal is to evoke emotion. Emotions like anger, jealousy, and fear drive content resharing on social media platforms.