Disinformation, deliberately misleading and inaccurate information, undermines public’s ability to make informed decisions as much as the more frequently discussed practices of censorship and government and corporate secrecy. Although forged documents, government propaganda, deceptive advertising and other forms of disinformation are not new, current information technologies make it much easier to deceive the public.
Why It Matters
When people are misled, they make decisions that can cause them personal harm, whether financially, physically or emotionally, and can seriously subvert democratic decision-making.
The Centre for Free Expression examines the nature, use and effects of disinformation to influence public opinion and personal choice. It fosters public discussion and education regarding information literacy and ways to achieve a more effective regulatory system.
The wonderful potential of social media has a dangerous and damaging dark side directed disproportionately to women and marginalized people. Solutions seem elusive given social media’s anonymity, the permanence of its record, and the capacity of cyberabuse to go viral.