Skip to Main Content

Navigating Online News and Information (NONI)


Organized Alphabetically

Advertising - Deliberate, systematic information campaigns that try to persuade consumers to buy goods and services.

Agitprop - A propaganda campaign designed to provoke the audience to take a particular action

Culture jamming - A tactic that "uses the tools of parody against advertising culture, ironically repurposing the logos and conventions of advertising in order to critique corporate culture" (Jack, p. 11)

Data Craft - "Practices that create, rely on, or even play with the proliferation of data on social media by engaging with new computational and algorithmic mechanisms of organization and classification" (Acker, p. 2).

Data Voids - Data "voids occur when obscure search queries have few results associated with them, making them ripe for exploitation by media manipulators with ideological, economic, or political agendas" (Golebiewski and boyd, p. 2)

Deepfakes and Cheap Fakes - Deepfakes are media content (usually videos, but can also be audio) that is fabricated using "some form of 'deep' or machine learning to hybridize or generate human bodies and faces." Filmmaker and comedian Jordan Peele famously called attention to these fabricated videos by producing one himself (explicit language used in video). Cheap fakes fabricate content using inexpensive software or other inexpensive means for creating a fake or fabricated video or audio recording.

Disinformation - False or misleading information that is spread intentionally

Gaslighting - When "a person orchestrates deceptions and inaccurately narrates events to the extent that their victim stops trusting their own judgments and perceptions" (Jack, p. 9).

Hoax - "a deliberate deception that plays on people’s willingness to believe" (Jack, p. 11).

Information Operations - "Social networking services, most notably Facebook, have adopted information operations, a military term for the strategic use of technological, operational, and psychological resources, to refer to unidentified actors’ deliberate and systematic attempts to influence public opinion by spreading inaccurate information with puppet accounts" (Jack, p. 15).

Misinformation - False or misleading information that is spread unintentionally

Parody - "A form of satire that exaggerates the notable features of a public figure, artist, or genre" (Jack, p. 11).

Propaganda - Originally a neutral term describing an information campaign with an agenda (e.g. U.S. government propaganda during WWII), the term has become a pejorative term for any information campaign that has an agenda and pursues it by spreading false or misleading information.

Publicity, Public Relations, and Public Affairs - Information campaigns mounted by individuals, companies, nonprofit organizations, or other nongovernmental groups to try to persuade people to view their group more positively.

Satire - Speech and/or performance that "uses exaggeration, irony, and absurdity to amuse the audience, while calling attention to, and critiquing, perceived wrongdoing" (Jack, p. 11)

Source Hacking - "Source hacking is a set of techniques for hiding the sources of problematic information in order to permit its circulation in mainstream media. Source hacking is therefore an indirect method for targeting journalists—planting false information in places that journalists are likely to encounter it, or where it will be taken up by other intermediaries" (Donovan and Friedberg, p. 4).

Xuanchuan - a Chinese term that describes "a misdirectional strategy on social media in which coordinated posts don’t spread false information, but instead flood conversational spaces with positive messages or attempts to change the subject" (Jack, p. 10).

Works Cited

Acker, Amelia. "Data Craft: The Manipulation of Social Media Metadata." Data & Society, 5 Nov. 2018.

Donovan, Joan and Brian Friedberg. "Source Hacking: Media Manipulation in Practice." Data & Society, 4 Sept. 2019.

Golebiewski, Michael and danah boyd. "Data Voids: Where Missing Data Can Easily Be Exploited." Data & Society, 29 Oct. 2019.

Jack, Caroline. "Lexicon of Lies: Terms for Problematic Information." Data & Society, 9 Aug. 2017.

Paris, Britt and Joan Donovan. "Deepfakes and Cheap Fakes: The Manipulation of Audio and Visual Evidence." Data & Society, 18 Sept. 2019.