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Critical Thinking Tutorial: Misinformation and Disinformation

This tutorial will empower you with valuable critical thinking skills that are essential for your university education.

Misinformation vs Disinformation - What's the Difference?

According to the Wikipedia article, misinformation is incorrect or misleading information that is often spread unintentionally. It differs from disinformation, which is deliberately deceptive and intentionally spread. Consider these implications:

  • Misinformation is something you believe to be true, but in reality, it is not.
  • Disinformation is something you know to be untrue but share it anyway.

Both misinformation and disinformation can include facts that are fabricated or narratives that are distorted. Whether spread intentionally or unintentionally, they can both contribute to fear, confusion, and division, alter people's beliefs and behaviours, and undermine public trust in institutions.

In this TED Talk, Sinan Aral discusses the spread of misinformation online and the role that humans, bots and technology play in its dissemination. He talks about how fake video and audio is created and the challenges associated with protecting truth in an era of misinformation.

This is an interactive video. Watch attentively, and respond to the questions within to learn more about how misinformation is spread. The truth might surprise you.