A Fake News Taxonomy: 7 Types of Mis- and Disinformation

First Draft makes an interesting effort to classify different types of misinformation (the inadvertent sharing of false information) and disinformation (the deliberate creation and sharing of information known to be false), based on the type of content, the motivations of those who create the content and the ways that content is disseminated

Here are the categories they came up with, in descending order of intent to deceive:

  • Fabricated Content: New content that is 100% false
  • Manipulated Content: Genuine information or imagery is manipulated
  • Imposter Content: Impersonation of genuine sources
  • False Context: Genuine content is shared with false contextual information
  • Misleading Content: Misleading use of information to frame an issue/individual
  • False Connection: Headlines, visuals or captions don’t support the content
  • Satire or Parody: No intention to cause harm but potential to fool

We used to have the Five W’s: who, what, when, where and why. Now we have the Eight P’s:

  • Poor journalism
  • Parody
  • To provoke or to “punk”
  • Passion
  • Partisanship
  • Profit
  • Political influence
  • Propaganda

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