Information disorder – how to recognise the forms

The following article is reproduced courtesy of First Draft News.
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Image courtesy of Randy Colas on Unsplash
Image courtesy of Randy Colas on Unsplash

Categories, types, elements and phases

These high-resolution graphics were created to help explain the different categories, types, elements, and phases of information disorder. They are available for use in publications and presentations under a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 3.0 license. Click the link under each image to download it.

Categories of information disorder

Figure 1: The seven categories of information disorder. Credit: Claire Wardle, 2017. Click here to download high-resolution version.

  1. Satire or parody: No intention to cause harm but has potential to fool.
  2. Misleading content: Misleading use of information to frame an issue or individual.
  3. Imposter content: when genuine sources are impersonated.
  4. Fabricated content: New content is 100% false, designed to deceive and do harm.
  5. False connection: When headlines, visuals, or captions don’t support the content.
  6. False context: When genuine content is shared with false contextual information.
  7. Manipulated content: When genuine information or imagery is manipulated to deceive.
information graphic by Claire Wardle
Information graphic courtesy of First Draft News

Types of information disorder

Figure 2: Three types of information disorder. Credit: Claire Wardle & Hossein Derakshan, 2017. Click here to download high-resolution version.

  1. Misinformation: Unintentional mistakes such as inaccurate photo captions, dates, statistics, translations, or when satire is taken seriously.
  2. Disinformation: Fabricated or deliberately manipulated audio.visual content. Intentionally created conspiracy theories or rumours.
  3. Malinformation: Deliberate publication of private information for personal or corporate rather than public interest. Deliberate change of context, date or time of genuine content.
Types of information disorder. Graphic by Claire Wardle & Hossein Derakshan
Information graphic courtesy of First Draft News

Elements of information disorder

Figure 3: Three elements of information disorder. Credit: Claire Wardle & Hossein Derakshan, 2017. Click here to download high-resolution version.

  1. Agent
  2. Message
  3. Interpeter
3 Elements of Information Disorder. Credit: Claire Wardle & Hossein Derakshan
Information graphic courtesy of First Draft News

Phases of information disorder

Figure 4: Three phases of information disorder. Credit: Claire Wardle & Hossein Derakshan, 2017. Click here to download high-resolution version.

  1. Creation: When the message is created.
  2. (Re) Production: When the message is turned into a media product.
  3. Distribution: When the product is distributed or made public.
3 Phases of Information Disorder. Credit: Claire Wardle & Hossein Derakshan, 2017
Information graphic courtesy of First Draft News

Note: This material first appeared on First Draft and has been reproduced here with the author’s consent.