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Recognizing COVID-19 Misinformation - a pop-up info lit mini-course : Misinformation Beyond "Fake News"

Understanding misinformation beyond "fake news"

Librarians teach information literacy, a Core Learning Outcome at MCC defined as: “The ability to know when there is a need for information, to be able to identify, locate, evaluate and effectively and responsibly use and share that information for the problem at hand.” We believe that if you know how to find and use information effectively, it will help you succeed in college, careers, and life!

Our world is complicated by what nonprofit First Draft News calls Information Disorder. This guide is meant to help you understand Information Disorder and use information literacy skills to recognize and stop the spread of COVID misinformation. Together, we can make a difference by making the world safer and saner, by identifying and refusing to share or publish inaccurate, false, or misleading information. 

Rebecca Cotton (2020) provides these helpful definitions, informed by First Draft's work:

Information Disorder: a term coined by First Draft News to encompass the spectrum of misinformation, malinformation, and disinformation 
Misinformation: false content that the person sharing doesn’t realize is false or misleading
Malinformation: genuine information shared with an intent to cause harm
Disinformation: shared content that is intentionally false and/or misleading and designed to cause harm
Social Cybersecurity: the science to characterize, understand, and forecast cyber-mediated changes in human behavior, social, cultural and political outcomes

Check out the infographic from First Draft below to learn more about the kinds of Mis and Disinformation.

University of California Berkeley Library's helpful guide to Weeding Out BS (Bad Sources) provides more definitions and explanations of the information psychology different platforms use to capture our attention.

Cotton, R., 2020. Misinformation, Disinformation, Fake News: Why Do We Care? Office of Government Relations, Episcopal Church [online ] Available at: [Accessed 3 April 2020].

7 types of mis and disinformation: fabricated content, manipulated content, impostor content, false context, misleading content, false connection, satire or parody

First Draft News, 2020. Seven types of mis- and disinformation. [online] Available at: [Accessed: 3 April 2020].


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