Misinformation is information that’s wrong, false or inaccurate. It happens when people make mistakes and write or say something that isn’t true. It could also be incorrect information that is shared to deceive, or maybe not.
But disinformation is deliberately, false information aimed to mislead you and others. We know now that it is easily spread on social media.
Disinformation is a manipulative tool meant to harm.
AOC Wasn't Even in the Capitol Building During Her 'Near Death' Experience.— Benny (@bennyjohnson) February 3, 2021
What actually happened?
A Capitol Police officer knocked on her door in the Cannon Building to direct her to another building.#AlexandriaOcasioSmollett https://t.co/WcJaeE8qIu
Disinformation we’ve seen recently
30 percent of Republicans have a favorable view of QAnon, according to a YouGov poll.
45 percent of Republicans say they favor the actions of the rioters at the Capitol according to another YouGov poll.
70 percent of Republicans believe Trump won the election.
40 percent of Americans believe the false notion that COVID-19 was manufactured in a lab in Wuhan China.
Disinformation has a history
Disinformation is not a new phenomenon. The Russians apparently first used the term dezinformatsiya in 1923 to describe their effort to manipulate public opinion. It was used by the then KGB, which is now the GRU. This was basically their term for propaganda, according to Wikipedia.
English speaking intelligence agencies picked up the term in the 1950’s, according to the Oxford English Dictionary. (OED)
Governments used disinformation against each other during World War II and during the Cold War.
The Russians used disinformation in the run up to the 2016 election, according to the Mueller Report.
“There’s a direct connection between disinformation and the insurrection on Capitol Hill. The mob was motivated by the false idea of a stolen election, which has traveled across social media for months, amplified by Mr. Trump and his supporters. Courts and election officials alike have rejected the idea of a stolen election, but their hard evidence was no match for the power of viral memes reinforced by lies and half-truths from elected officials. We’ve seen this scenario play out globally, and now it’s playing out in the U.S.”
New Yorker Reporter Luke Mogelson followed Trump supporters as they forced their way into the U.S. Capitol, using his phone’s camera as a reporter’s notebook.
.@donie, reporting from Capitol Hill: "In 2016 people tried to write off anything about social media, saying oh, it's only a few Facebook posts, what harm? Here's the harm. The harm of conspiracy theories, the harm of people living in these online and Trump media echo chambers." pic.twitter.com/kisSUSNRxb— Tara Mulholland (@tara_mulholland) January 6, 2021