Glossary: Fact-checking and Disinformation

Terminology is important. This glossary features the most often used and sometimes misunderstood words, acronyms, and phrases relating to fact-checking and disinformation.

Headlines, articles, photographs, etc. online that are made to attract attention and get people to click on links to a website, often to make money by getting more views and/or likes.

Deceptive news
News items that intentionally lies or distorts the truth

information that is deliberately created and/or shared with the express intent to cause harm and/or give the wrong impression, often with a political, financial, psychological, or social motivation.

Echo chamber
A term used to describe situations where certain ideas or beliefs are strengthened through repetition within a closed system that does not allow alternative or competing ideas. In an echo chamber, online certain ideas or conclusions will often win out because of the biased way that the information is gathered.

The process of finding out if a piece of information or news is truthful and accurate.

Fact resistant
A term used to describe when people are resistant (unaffected by) basic facts, including scientific facts, and do not allow themselves to be influenced by any information that goes against their own opinion or feeling for what is correct.

A piece of information or news that is repeated so often that it is believed to be true.

Fake followers
The practice of paying money to gain followers on social media, that come from anonymous or false social media accounts in order to seem popular. Social media users can also pay for fake likes, views, and shares.

Fake news
False stories that look like a news item, on the internet or in other media. A fake news item has sometimes been created to influence political views but may also have been created as satire:

A term used in the digital era to describe captioned photos or GIFs that become popular online, often funny and/or critical of society. They can also be used to spread disinformation.

Information that is false, but is not intended to cause harm.

Someone who leaves an intentionally annoying message on the internet, in order to get attention or cause trouble.

Troll factory
An organization or number of individuals that come together in order to publish large numbers of posts or messages on the internet that are meant to cause trouble, influence political views etc:

Posting or commenting online in a way that is intentionally cruel, offensive, and/ or provocative

A process of finding out if something is true or correct, for example when it is posted by unofficial sources online.

Product placement
A practice in which companies pay money to have their products featured in films and television programs.

A dishonest attempt to trick people in order to make money or gain something else of value.