Lexicon of Lies: Terms for Problematic Information

To Inform is to Influence

Published Aug 09, 2017

Whether “post-fact” or propaganda, the public sphere is inundated with problematic information. Lexicon of Lies is an essential guide by Data & Society Postdoctoral Scholar Caroline Jack that covers terms and concepts for information that is inaccurate, misleading, inappropriately attributed, or altogether fabricated.

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…

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