Disinformation

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Microphones-2-.jpg This article is part of the Propaganda Portal project of Spinwatch.
Disinformation is the deliberate spreading of false or misleading information in order to manipulate public opinion or hide the truth [1].


It should not be confused with Misinformation, the unknowing spreading of a falsehood. Whilst both concepts describe the spreading of untrue information, what separates Disinformation is that the act is a deliberate deception, with the disseminator knowing the conveyed information to be false[2]. As a deliberate act of manipulation, Disinformation can be considered a technique of Propaganda.


Reported Examples of Disinformation

Operation INFEKTION


Operation INFEKTION was a self-confessed KGB Disinformation campaign designed to foster anti-Americanism in the international community. The campaign involved the spreading of information linking the outbreaks of HIV/AIDS to United States Government research facilities. It specifically stated that HIV/AIDS was most likely manufactured by the US Government as a biological weapon created by genetic engineers [3].

After anonymous reports were sent to, and published in various news outlets, the story was widely reported across many different branches of the Soviet media. The Disinformation campaign was so successful that the story was covered in over eighty countries and broadcast in over thirty languages In March 1992, Russian Prime Minister Yevgeni Primakov (who was Russian Intelligence Chief at the time) admitted that the Disinformation service of the KGB had fabricated this false story. This admission was published in the Russian newspaper Izvestiya on 19 March 1992[4].


Resources


Notes

  1. Merriam-Webster, Disinformation, Merriam-Webster website, accessed 16 March 2015
  2. Bernd Stahl (2006), On the Difference or Equality of Information, Misinformation, and Disinformation: A Critical Research Perspective, Informing Science Journal, Volume 9, accessed 16 March 2015
  3. Thomas Boghardt (2009), Operation INFEKTION, Studies in Intelligence, Volume 53, Issue 4, Central Intelligence Agency website, accessed 16 March 2015
  4. IIP Digital, AIDS as a biological weapon, IIP Digital website, 14 January 2015, accessed 16 March 2015