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Explanation of different types of misinformation


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Our digital leaders explain the different types of misinformation you may come across, and the differences between them.

Types of misinformation

Misinformation is designed to be believed and it’s not always easy to distinguish. There are a number of terms used to describe false or misleading information. The differences can be subtle but it’s important to know and understand the purpose and intent behind the information you see online.Misinformation is false or inaccurate information and can take the form of a social media post, a real or edited picture, a video clip, a meme or news story. Misinformation can be shared inadvertently without realising that the information is false or inaccurate.


Disinformation takes the same form as misinformation but it is deliberately created to deceive, mislead and influence. This could be for personal, political or economic purposes. Disinformation can threaten our values and principles undermining our safety, security, communities and trust.

Fake News

'Fake news' is used to describe inaccurate or misleading content that is often sensational or emotive. It may include misinformation, disinformation or both. 'Fake news'.


Clickbait is content such as a headline designed to attract your attention and encourage you to click on a link taking you to other online content, for example, an article, image or video. Instead of presenting objective facts, clickbait appeals to your emotions and curiosity


A ‘deepfake’ refers to a photo or video where the faces have been swapped or digitally altered using artificial intelligence (AI). Creating fake images in this way can produce very genuine-looking results that appear to show someone saying something or doing something they never really said or did.


Malinformation is the deliberate publication of private information for personal or private interest, as well as the deliberate manipulation of genuine content. While this information may not be false in nature, it covers information that is disseminated to cause harm.