The website Dictionary.com has chosen the term ‘misinformation’ as its word of the year. The announcement comes less than two weeks after Oxford Dictionaries chose ‘toxic’ as its word of the year.
Many people mix up the meaning of misinformation with the word disinformation. They sometimes use one term in place of the other.
Dictionary.com defines misinformation as “false information that is spread, regardless of whether there is intent to mislead.” And it describes disinformation as “deliberately misleading or biased information; manipulated narrative or facts; propaganda.”
So what's the difference?
Officials at Dictionary.com say it comes down to what the writer or speaker actually means. They say that “when people spread misinformation, they often believe the information they are sharing.” But disinformation is often shared with the goal of misleading others. For example, if people share information that they know to be false in a story or a picture, that is disinformation.
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