Fake news, disinformation & Misinformation

The creation of the“attention economy” also poses a significant threat. People's propensity to attend to shocking, false, or emotive information, especially political information, is exploited and used as a commodity product by digital media platforms.

The literature shows that governments with the means and inclination to manipulate information can tailor false information towards individuals with the express intent of interfering in other countries democratic processes, for example Russian government interference in the U.S election of 2016 using ‘bots’ and disinformation campaigns. While misinformation and disinformation, especially political disinformation, targeted at individuals on digital media, is used to influence politics, from national elections through to information provision and sharing with regard to political issues and policy more generally. Political misinformation in particular has been found to have a significant direct and indirect impact on democratic participation and engagement.