Advertising revenue

Revenue generated by advertisements placed in newspapers, journals, television, and online websites by corporations. This revenue is used by media companies to fund their operations.


In relation to searching, an algorithm is a set of instructions that helps a searcher find an answer to a question.


When an individual or organization favours one side of an opinion over another, they have a bias.


Online websites/pages that are written by individuals, groups, or organizations to comment on or discuss different topics.


Completely robotic accounts created to achieve a malicious purpose.


Occurs when aspects of information are withheld or removed with the intention to keep information from a certain audience or population.

Confirmation bias

When someone confirms a belief that they already hold to be true.

Deep fakes

Fake videos created online where a video of one person is taken and transposed with the face, voice, body (or combination of these) onto a video of someone else. The original video is digitally altered with the intent to portray someone as saying or doing something that they haven’t done.


A phenomenon that occurs when information is taken apart, and pieces of that information are shared outside of the original context, creating a different meaning.

Digital literacy

The acquired skills or knowledge to evaluate information hosted or generated online.


False or inaccurate information, created and shared by someone with the intent to cause harm.

Echo chamber

An individual’s social media feed or space that has been curated by algorithms which track the content the individual has engaged with. Echo chambers will show or suggest content and information a user has previously shown interest in and can lead to a narrow or one-sided perspective.

Fake news

A highly politicized term that at one time referred to news that is false. Since 2016, fake news has been used as a weapon by powerful people to discredit legitimate news sources and media organizations. Note that most information professionals no longer use this term to describe false information.

False news

Information, news articles, social media posts, or content that is written or displayed in a way that makes it appear to be factual information. False news is often created with the intention of causing harm and can evoke emotions or stress from the viewer or reader.

Filter bubbles

A filter bubble occurs when a searcher is continuously exposed to similar types of content and information - placing them into a virtual bubble.


A guide for what to do – for example, a recipe might be considered a framework for cooking dinner.


A hoax is created using misleading information, with the intention to deceive someone into believing something that can be outrageous or absurd.

Illusory truth effect

A psychological phenomenon which postulates that the more a person sees something, even something they already know to be untrue, the more likely they are to believe it.


The central location where Google maps hundreds of millions of websites that have existed since the beginning of Google.


Content creators, celebrities, or personalities who gain large followings on various social media platforms. Influencers can create sponsored content or promote products on behalf of companies.

Information disorder

A phenomenon consisting of three concepts: misinformation, disinformation, and malinformation. Together, they encompass the creation and sharing of false information, by individuals or artificial intelligence, for various purposes.

Information literacy

A person’s ability to use information effectively in order to fulfill a specific goal. It may involve recognizing a need for information, seeking it, finding it, and evaluating it.

Information overload

When a person is exposed to more information than they can digest, resulting in feelings of stress and disorientation.


The collection, research, analysis, and communication of information and news events for presentation to a larger audience. Journalism can be distributed in several different formats or mediums – print, web, television, and radio broadcasting.

Keyword searching

The act of scanning an entire website for specific words.

Lateral reading

A framework you can use to verify whether information is accurate by conducting an initial search on a topic, and then reading multiple articles or scanning websites to compare information or claims.


Information that is based on something factual but has been altered in order to cause harm to a specific organization, group, or person.


Methods of sharing information or the platforms where information is shared.


An approach to information that asks learners to reflect on the information they are producing and sharing, as an individual or as part of a group (Metaliteracy, 2013).


When a false news source mimics the design of a reliable news source. Usually using similar graphic styles and company names, making them difficult to recognize quickly.


Information that is false but the person sharing or creating this information believes it to be true.

Natural language searching

The ability to use sentences and questions to search rather than just keywords.


A philosophical or political standpoint where a person does not favour one opinion or perspective over another.

Novelty bias

Occurs in journalism when news and media outlets report on sensational or captivating stories more than stories that accurately represent happenings in a location or amongst a population.


Partisan or partisanship is a type of bias that occurs when news outlets, content creators, or public figures favour the leaders, platforms, ideologies of a political party or philosophy.


Online audio programs on different topics that can be streamed or downloaded. They can be in a similar format to radio programmes and are often hosted on apps or digital platforms.


Refers to a timeframe within society wherein people are more likely to believe information that aligns with their emotions or viewpoints rather than objective facts.


A term for information that has been manipulated or created (usually by political organizations) with the intention to sway social or political opinions or conversations.

Rabbit holes

A phenomenon that occurs when an individual discovers one source of online information and then continues clicking through threaded information within the original article, video, or content. As one clicks through to different linked content, they may discover the content becoming more and more extreme or bizarre.


A framework you can use to evaluate whether information (particularly on the Internet) is trustworthy or accurate. RADAR is an acronym for: Relevance, Authority, Date, Accuracy, and Reason for creation.

Recommendation System

A recommendation system is an algorithm that displays or pushes content or advertisements based on information it has gathered from previous online interactions. The app TikTok uses a recommendation system for their “For You Page”.


Humorous articles, stories or videos that are meant to be a joke and do not intend to disinform. Satire often comments on society or politics.

Social media

Any online website or app that allows individuals to engage with one another. Examples include blogs, social network sites (Facebook), news sites (Reddit), knowledge bases that allow comments (Wikipedia), sharing services (Instagram, Youtube), and social apps (WhatsApp).

Sock puppet

A false online persona created to deceive.


Someone who pretends to be someone else (usually someone known or a recognized and trusted organization) in order to get information, steal money, or spread viruses on devices.

Troll Farm

Teams of trolls working together to target algorithms by driving up posts and comments of information that aligns with their agendas. Troll farms can be contracted by political organizations to spread disinformation and arouse emotional responses from other social media users.


Groups of users (actual people), who create fake accounts and engage with others online. Trolls will spread disinformation, argue with other users, and repeat falsehoods or offensive statements to get emotional reactions from other users.


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Disinformation: Dealing with the Disaster Copyright © 2023 by Saskatchewan Polytechnic is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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