Propaganda, disinformation, misinformation: The words we choose to describe media manipulation can lead to assumptions about how information spreads, who spreads it, and who receives it. These assumptions can shape what kinds of interventions or solutions seem desirable, appropriate, or even possible.
This guide is intended to inform commentators, educators, policymakers, and others who seek appropriate words for describing the accuracy and relevance of media content. Media historian and theorist Caroline Jack traces the specific origins and applications of several forms of problematic information, unpacking lazy usage habits and uncovering buried cultural origins.
Lexicon of Lies attempts to provide nuance to current debates around truth and trust in the public sphere. The lexicon is the second in a series of outputs from the Data & Society initiative on Media Manipulation.