Another dot in the blogosphere?

Not fake

Posted on: February 3, 2020

A primary source of news, newspapers printed or online, propagated a subjective phrase — fake news.

“Fake news” does not mean the same thing to different people. To politicians like Trump, fake news can be any legitimate, well-researched, or accurate report he does not agree with.

To others, fake news might be misinformation and disinformation. This source provides a handy distinction:

Misinformation is false information that’s given without malice, and disinformation is false information, such as government propaganda, that’s given with the intention to deceive.

Using the current 2019-nCoV scare as context, misinformation might be about how ordinary masks might protect you from infection. The mask is actually meant to reduce transmission, not stop reception.

Disinformation might be unconfirmed “news” of mask shortage or infected zones. These are meant to create worry or panic.

The terms “misinformation” and “disinformation” are more precise. They communicate meaning and educate us. The phrase “fake news” is lazy and subjective. The fact that a newspaper is propagating it is bad news.

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