Misinformation vs. Disinformation


Misinformation = the false information which is intended to mislead; incorrect or misleading information.

Disinformation = false information, deliberately misleading or biased information; manipulated narrative or facts; propaganda. Disinformation is knowingly spreading misinformation. Information which is spread to make someone or something look good or bad can be disinformation.


Examples: There’s a lot of misinformation about the coronavirus that needs to be corrected.

In the chaotic hours after they filed for divorce, a lot of misinformation was reported in the media.

They spread disinformation in order to destroy her career in politics.

The foreign media claimed there was an official disinformation campaign by the junta government.


Misinformation can be differentiated from disinformation, which is deliberately deceptive. If you are spreading around information that is wrong but you don’t know it is wrong, then you are spreading misinformation. Hence, misinformation doesn’t care about intent, and so is simply a term for any kind of wrong or false information.


Hence, misinformation refers to untrue or out-of-context information that is presented as fact notwithstanding an intent to deceive. Disinformation is a type of misinformation that is intentionally false and intended to be deliberately deceptive.

Both misinformation and disinformation involve the sharing of bad or disproved information, with contrasting intents and purposes.


Disinformation in comparison with misinformation is a relatively new word, first recorded in 1965–70. It’s a translation of the Russian word dezinformátsiya, in turn based on the French désinformer (“to misinform”).


In English language, the prefix dis- can be used to specify a reversal or negative instance of the word that follows. For example, disrespect and disobedience are opposites or negations of respect and obedience. Disinformation, then, can be meant as “reverse information” or “anti-information” specifically created to lie to and mislead other people.


To be precise, use the word disinformation when you know for a fact that false or erroneous information is being spread on purpose to hurt or damage, especially a government, organization, or public figure. If you can’t figure out for certain why someone is spreading bad information, it’s best to use misinformation.


What distinguishes misinformation from disinformation is the author’s intent and whether they know that the information is false. So, misinformation is bad information that you thought was true and disinformation is also bad information that you knew wasn’t true.


Some example sentences of ‘misinformation’


The admin took great pains to have this misinformation corrected.

Postponement of exams was a deliberate piece of misinformation.

There had been worries that it could have been deliberate misinformation.

It has become just another part of the whole elaborate web of half-truths, misinformation and spin.

Letters of apology were sent to Martha by those who had spread misinformation about her.

How sad Philips! You have allowed yourself to be used by mischief-makers to publish misinformation.

The most of information and propaganda on electronic voting machines is based on misinformation.

A lot of misinformation, exaggerated fictions and relics of wartime propaganda are being reported in the media.

These loud anchors, sold out editors don’t want to give people news or information -they give them misinformation.

And they came out with a whole host of false propaganda and the government is fighting back against that misinformation.

To spread misinformation and make disparaging and derogatory remarks about any group is unacceptable.


Some example sentences of ‘disinformation’


It was a highly coordinated disinformation campaign to malign the Leftists.

They systematically manipulated the entire intelligence system with clever disinformation.

The employees union has insisted that a campaign of disinformation is under way.

During a war both sides hide their correct information and spread disinformation.

This propaganda is full of misinformation, disinformation, noninformation, and just plain lies.

How could the common man distinguish between information and disinformation spread by the press?

Soviet spokesmen kept up a steady stream of denials and disinformation on Ukraine war

We are being fed with a deluge of information and disinformation on this one day in day out.

What worries most is the malicious and continuous disinformation given by media to the people.

They argued that the ISIS would not have missed such an opportunity to feed the West disinformation.

The misinformation and disinformation that is being fed makes it impossible for any fair-minded commentator to take sides in the issue.

It was all disinformation which they backed up with fictitious facts and figures to make it appear genuine that he siphoned off public funds for private business ventures.


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