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Identifying Misinformation


Misinformation might feel like a recent, strictly American phenomenon, but world history is filled with examples of people spreading false information. Explore the resources below to learn about the past and present of misinformation.

Misinformation about the Ukraine War

As the Russian war against Ukraine rages on, misinformation has been a critical and growing problem. Use these resources from March 2022 to learn the truth about the invasion and its impact on the world.

Critical Disinformation Studies: A Syllabus

Cover art for Critical Disinformation Studies syllabusThis open source syllabus was produced in 2021 by a team of researchers from the Center for Information, Technology, and Public Life (CITAP) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The authors focus on five case studies from US history as indicators of global trends, and argue that disinformation has a long history as a tool for reinforcing structural inequality. Includes links to relevant scholarly articles.

The History of Misinformation - Full Fact Podcast

Full Fact is a non-profit and nonpartisan fact-checking charity based in the UK. In addition to their website, they run a podcast focused on various aspects of the world of misinformation from deep fakes to social media bots. In this episode, host Alexis Conran joins history professor Jacob Soll (University of Southern California) and Tom Phillips (Full Fact Editor and author) to discuss the history of fake news. The team considers significant examples of historical misinformation, the decline of local news outlets, and the actions of believers vs. opportunists in spreading misinformation.


The Long and Brutal History of Fake News -

In this 2016 article, Jacob Soll traces the history of fake news through nearly 600 years, starting just after the invention of the printing press. Stoll examines notable cases of historical disinformation such as the anti-Semitic blood libel conspiracy, yellow journalism in the Gilded Age, and World War II propaganda.

Brief History of Fake News - CITS, University of California, Santa Barbara

Produced in 2018 by the Center for Information Technology & Society (CITS) at the University of California, Santa Barbara, this website compares and contrasts examples of historical disinformation with the modern incarnation of fake news.