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Information Literacy at CalArts

The guide contains information surrounding key topics in information literacy and related resources for students and faculty.

Mis- vs. Disinformaiton

Mis- and disinformation are major concerns today, and these types of harmful content can be increasingly difficult to parse. 

  • Misinformation: incorrect or misleading information
  • Disinformation: false information deliberately and often covertly spread (as by the planting of rumors) in order to influence public opinion or obscure the truth

Source: Merriam-Webster

Types of Disinformation:
  • Fabricated content: completely false content;
  • Manipulated content: distortion of genuine information or imagery, for example a headline that is made more sensationalist, often popularized by ‘clickbait’;
  • Imposter content: impersonation of genuine sources, for example by using the branding of an established news agency;
  • Misleading content: misleading use of information, for example by presenting comment as fact;
  • False context of connection: factually accurate content that is shared with false contextual information, for example when a headline of an article does not reflect the content;
  • Satire and parody: presenting humorous but false stores as if they are true. Although not usually categorised as fake news, this may unintentionally fool readers.

Source: House of Commons Select Committee on Culture, Media, and Sport. (2018, July 29). Disinformation and 'fake news': Interim Report

Fake News

Fake news is information that is clearly and demonstrably fabricated and that has been packaged and distributed to appear as legitimate news.


It isn't always easy to tell whether a piece of information is fake news. Reliable fact checking sites like FactCheck.orgPolitifact, and Snopes can help you to discern the truth from the fiction. You can also:

  • Learn to recognize false news stories. Be curious and actively investigate what you read and hear.
  • Use news sources that are accountable for their content and that follow journalistic ethics and standards.
  • Use care before sharing news content with others on social media. Pause and reflect on news and information that arouses strong emotions, positive or negative.
  • Learn to recognize your own biases and compensate for them.
  • Learn about your rights and responsibilities as a digital citizen.

Source: MLA Guide to Digital Literacy (2nd edition, 2022).