6 types of misinformation circulated this election season

6 types of misinformation circulated this election season (cjr.org)
Claire Wardle in the Columbia Journalism Review. All annotations in context.

The New Yorker’s Sasha Frere-Jones called Twitter a “self-cleaning oven,” suggesting that false information could be flagged and self-corrected almost immediately. We no longer had to wait 24 hours for a newspaper to issue a correction.


Jeff Jarvis wrote over the weekend, we need to be careful what we wish for: We don’t want Facebook to become the arbiter of truth.


Instead, I would encourage the social platforms to include prominent features for filtering and flagging. They should work with journalists and social psychologists to invent a new visual grammar so that when content is fact-checked, debunked, corrected, or verified, those processes are transparent and available to anyone seeking to understand more about the origins of a story.


To begin to develop a grammar of fake news, I collected six types of false information we’ve seen this election season.

  1. Authentic materials used in the wrong context
  2. Imposter news sites designed to look like brands we already know
  3. Fake news sites
  4. Fake information
  5. Manipulated content
  6. Parody content

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