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Misinformation and More

Learn about misinformation, disinformation, malinformation, fake news, propaganda, and more.

Types of Mis- and Disinformation


Media professor Melissa Zimdars organizes misinformation into four distinct categories.

  • Fake, false, or regularly misleading websites that are shared on Facebook and social media.
  • Websites that may circulate misleading and/or potentially unreliable information.
  • Websites which sometimes use clickbait-y headlines and social media descriptions.
  • Satire and/or comedy sites, which can offer important (and entertaining) critical commentary on politics and society. 


In addition, Clair Wardle writing in The Columbia Journalism Review reports that there are three more types of fake news: 

  • Authentic material used in the wrong context.
  • Imposter news sites designed to look like brands we already know.
  • Manipulated content.

‚ÄčGenerally the "fake news" you will see "in the wild" is a mixture of these general categories. Be alert!


Wardle, C. (2016). 6 Types of Misinformation Circulated During This Election Season. Columbia Journalism Review. Retrieved from

Wardle, C. (February, 17, 2017). Fake news: it's complicated. First Draft.

Zimdars, M. (2016) False, Misleading, Clickbait-y. amd Satirical News.