The Palgrave Encyclopedia of Interest Groups, Lobbying and Public Affairs

Living Edition
| Editors: Phil Harris, Alberto Bitonti, Craig S. Fleisher, Anne Skorkjær Binderkrantz

Disinformation/Fake News

Living reference work entry



Disinformation is a broad concept used to describe creation, content, dissemination, amplification, and impact of false (untruth) information that is intentionally created to influence public opinion, usually in connection with political processes and integrity of elections.

The fundamental changes in today’s public information environment – development of digital communication, social media, and mobile communication capabilities – have led to an increased focus on disinformation, which has become varied in form and pace.

The content of disinformation usually combines true and false elements, as well as framing of the information provided.

In media, political, and public debates, two terms – disinformation and fake news – are often used interchangeably.

Fake news(hoax news) is a narrower term, essentially a neologism, which usually refers to fabricated and...


Disinformation Misinformation Malinformation Fake news Fact checking Media and Information literacy 
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Further Reading

  1. Benkler, Y., Faris, R., & Roberts, H. (2018). Network Propaganda: Manipulation, disinformation, and radicalization in American politics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Howard, P. N. (2020). Lie machines: How to save democracy from troll armies, deceitful robots, junk news operations, and political operatives. London: Yale University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Pomerantsev, P. (2019). This is not propaganda: Adventures in the war against reality. New York: Public Affairs.Google Scholar
  4. Shu, K., Wang, S., & Lee, D. (2020). Disinformation, misinformation, and fake news in social media: Emerging research challenges and opportunities (Lecture notes in social networks, 1st ed.). Cham, Switzerland: Springer.Google Scholar
  5. Wardle, C., & Derakhshan, H. (2017) Information disorder: Toward an interdisciplinary framework for research and policy making. Report to the Council of Europe.Google Scholar

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of CommunicationRiga Stradiņš UniversityRigaLatvia

Section editors and affiliations

  • Alberto Bitonti
    • 1
  1. 1.Università della Svizzera ItalianaLuganoSwitzerland