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July 15, 2024

Two Evils, Two Related Terms on the Information Highway

By Ndaba Sibanda

Two Evils, Two Related Terms on the Information Highway

If info speaks the language of facts, misinformation and disinformation
speak one of parody. Info empowers or authorizes, the two polarize or pauperize.

The common cord about these two terms is that both are tied to false
or wrong information. One is unintended, the other is purposed.

As humans, we, every so often misconstrue or mishear bits of
a newsflash, and this mishap can give birth to misinformation.

When people get the facts wrong, they have incorrect information.
Misinformation can be plausible and subtle. At times it filters over.

In this digital age, social media is a fertile ground for misinformation.
We are met and blasted with propaganda, photoshops, fakes and all.

We pass this wrong information on, perhaps as something juicy
or weighty. Yet it is not our intent to mislead. They also sprinkle it!

At stake, it is not only the dispersal of misleading information, but
that it too has donned the viral jacket of infodemic. It’s an epidemic.

If one comes across misinformation and determines that it’s false,
yet, spreads it to deceive knowingly, then that’s disinformation.

If misinformation comes from a mistake, then disinformation is spread
wittingly to demonize or damage or mislead. Deliberately misstating the facts!

The spread of misinformation and disinformation is not healthy for this planet.
Reflect on peace, growth, integrity, justice: the need to tackle dire global issues.

Filling airplay with a daily, dull diet of hoopla, Zim’s state radio and TV
saw fed-up viewers, listeners ditch them for South Africa’s less biased broadcaster.

That’s the story of the twisty twins that are no stranger to denials and debates.
Further afield, one classic affair was the Cold War which gave rise to the net.

Article © Ndaba Sibanda. All rights reserved.
Published on 2024-04-15
Image(s) are public domain.
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