Writing for Business

Oct 17 2013   5:11PM GMT

Sock puppets, sock puppetry and Internet shills: Misinformation vs. disinformation

Ivy Wigmore Ivy Wigmore Profile: Ivy Wigmore

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Which is correct?

interrobang I was annoyed when my friend shared the Facebook post about the dangers of microwave ovens, but he didn’t know any better. It was just a case of __________.  

a. misinformation
b. disinformation

Answer: a

Explanation:

Misinformation carries the implication of a mistake — someone might tell you something untrue but if they believed it themselves, that’s a case of misinformation. Disinformation, on the other hand, is false information that is knowingly presented with the intention to mislead.

I’ve been spending some time in a murky neighborhood of the Web lately, exploring sock puppetry, Internet shills and the like. Here’s a new job title I discovered (although I expect they may call themselves something else): disinformation agent. Yes — someone who devotes their days and/or nights to knowingly spreading BS, typically for nefarious purposes.

In any case, Facebook is a fabulous venue for both misinformation and disinformation. The best advice there and elsewhere? Take it all with a grain of salt and don’t share anything that might be untrue without researching it first.

Stan Carey explains more about misinformation vs. disinformation.

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  • quariasupreme
    To_of_info I believe that microwaves are da versus and that what your friend shared with you is information onto respect for fellow man, you shared that you want to class it as misinformation, but a better example for this exams of mis-dis should be found. We are not talking about articles visible, but about invisible contra-flesh immunology factoring, no one should use science as a unchangeable vehicle: One may police the information but adding or removing one value edits neighboring influences into change reactions?
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