Disinformation and Misinformation Will Alter our Perception

LIBRARY-SIGNS

In the high-speed information free-for-all on social media platforms and the internet, everyone can be a publisher. Proactive sharing of information has its benefits, but it isn’t always a good thing.

As a result, citizens struggle to discern what is true and what is false. Cynicism and distrust rule. Extreme views, conspiracy theories and populism flourish and once-accepted truths and institutions are questioned.

It can lead to rumours or disinformation and misinformation that can potentially make a situation much worse.

At the same time, the rise of marketplaces for strategic communications including active disinformation and mal-information, has become a major factor in the information ecosystem.

Many of us mix up the meaning of misinformation with the word disinformation. We sometimes use one term in place of the other.

Misinformation is incorrect or misleading information. This is the spin version of a lie. Misinformation is incorrect or inaccurate information that causes people to be misinformed but not created with the intention of causing harm.

Disinformation is more sinister. Its false information deliberately and often covertly spread in order to influence public opinion or obscure the truth.

If people have incorrect information, there can be very real consequences as perception can be reality.

Effective communication planning needs to account for rumours or disinformation, and the risk that they could intensify the gravity of a critical event.

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