IO1-B. Major disinformation categories and content types

As mentioned before, we will use the general term disinformation because the De Facto project is focusing mostly on deliberately created and spread false information. For the purposes of our education-centric study, we have classified disinformation in 3 categories:

  • False-context content (GREEN circle Ο)
  • Manipulated content (ORANGE circle Ο)
  • Fabricated content (RED circle Ο)

Unlike the original disinformation matrix (Wardle, 2017) where some of these are mixed with other types, we think that these 3 categories are actually the first level of classification, with the content types (IO1-A. 11 Types of Disinformation) hierarchically arranged under them. It is imperative to underline that we have extended the original nomenclature of content-type items.

False-context content will have some truth in it, but placed in wrong context (overall corresponding to misinformation).

Manipulated and Fabricated content types will be partly and entirely separated from truth, with increasing distance from it.

We could reasonably expect, and this has been our working hypothesis all along, that while false-context content could start its existence with pure and benevolent motives, manipulated content assumes some level of intentionality where motives could be ambiguous, and, by contrast, we can find few if any evidence that fabricated content has motives other than harm and deceit.

Further, some content types may well fall within one or more categories, hence the overlaps pictured in the Venn-diagram below.

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