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Disinformation (a translation of the Russian word dezinformatsiya) is false or inaccurate Wikipedia:information that is spread deliberately with intentions of turning genuine information useless. It is an act of deception and false statements to convince someone of untruth. Disinformation should not be confused with Wikipedia:misinformation, information that is unintentionally false.
Unlike traditional propaganda (WP) techniques designed to engage emotional support, disinformation is designed to manipulate the audience at the rational level by either discrediting conflicting information or supporting false conclusions. A common disinformation tactic is to mix some truth and observation with false conclusions and lies, or to reveal part of the truth while presenting it as the whole (a Wikipedia:limited hangout).
Another technique of concealing facts, or censorship (WP), is also used if the group can affect such control. When channels of information cannot be completely closed, they can be rendered useless by filling them with disinformation, effectively lowering their Wikipedia:signal-to-noise ratio and discrediting the opposition by association with many easily disproved false claims.
Wikipedia:Black propaganda is distinguished from disinformation in that part of the disinformation in black propaganda is the ostensible identity of the source. It is potentially possible to have black propaganda with no other disinformation in it than the source
In Wikipedia:espionage or Wikipedia:military intelligence, disinformation is the deliberate spreading of false information to mislead an enemy as to one's position or course of action. In Wikipedia:politics, disinformation is the deliberate attempt to deflect voter support of an opponent, disseminating false statements of innuendo based on the candidates vulnerabilities as revealed by Wikipedia:opposition research. In both cases, it also includes the distortion of true information in such a way as to render it useless.
Disinformation may include distribution of forged Wikipedia:documents, manuscripts, and photographs, or spreading malicious rumors and fabricated Wikipedia:intelligence. Its techniques may also be found in Wikipedia:commerce and government (WP), used to try to undermine the position of a competitor.
World War II and Cold War
A classic example of disinformation was during World War II (WP), preceding the Wikipedia:Normandy landings, in what would be known as Wikipedia:Operation Fortitude. British intelligence convinced the German Armed Forces that a much larger invasion force was about to cross the Wikipedia:English Channel from Wikipedia:Kent, Wikipedia:England. In reality, the Wikipedia:Normandy landings were the main attempt at establishing a Wikipedia:beachhead, made easier by the German Command's reluctance to commit its armies. Another act of World War IIâ€“era disinformation was Wikipedia:Operation Mincemeat, where British intelligence dressed up a corpse, equipped it with fake invasion plans, and floated it out to sea where Axis troops would eventually recover it.
Disinformation by the Hoover Institution
The above main article is a terribly biased & very wrong article (I got the title changed to 'Soviet influence on the peace movement', but even that was like pulling teeth), but a great start to seeing one side of the balance of propaganda on both sides of the Cold War. The edit history and talk page has a bit of information about the Hoover Institution Press and one of the the guys running it, Wikipedia:Richard Felix Staar ("As associate director of the Hoover Institution for a critical twelve years, he helped make that organization serve the Soviet-slaying purpose for which its founder had endowed it."). A huge number of Staar's books were published by the Hoover Institution, books that were far worse propaganda,, that he was criticizing the USSR, in those books, for doing. Hoover Institution disseminated them in the US in the same way that the USSR did through the friends they made in the US. Except that his books were filled with misinformation rather than just propaganda, and he called the USSR propaganda supply houses Communist Front organizations. No one even much knows about the Hoover Institute, but many have heard the name communist front, and that is pretty much all they ever were, was allies that the USSR made in other countries.
The Hoover Institution material helped Reagan demonize the Soviets for trying to get long range versions of the missiles that the US already had in place, ringed around Russia about as far away from it as the missiles that were planned to put in Cuba would have been, if JFK had not thrown a tantrum about it. Definitely need some factchecking on this last part and a few citations, my memory on this stuff is a little rusty.
A peace organization formed of scientists in the US, meeting in I think it was Maine or something, Staar also called a communist front. Also little tiny organizations that do not exist anymore, or perhaps never did. A lot of the Staar-based communist front section eventually was cut because I had added things that Staar had said, to show that he was obviously lying.
Over and over Staar would use self-references; use his own books as citations to prove the things he was saying. More than half the citations were this way.
Disinformation by the CIA
According to Gyorgy, the Central Intelligence Agency (WP) (CIA) knew about the 1957 Wikipedia:Kyshtym disaster at Wikipedia:Mayak, but kept it secret to prevent adverse consequences for the fledgling United States (WP) nuclear industry. Wikipedia:Ralph Nader surmised that the information had not been released because of the "reluctance of the CIA to highlight a nuclear accident in the USSR, that could cause concern among people living near nuclear facilities in the USA."
Disinformation by KGB defector claiming disinformation
- See #Disinformation by the Hoover Institution and the WP article described therein
There is sadly no proof at the moment that the KGB guy was wrong, you just have to have faith. It really is that simple. I mean, what, Carl Sagan was a communist spy? Nuclear Winter was definitely researched independently, so there is some proof there somewhere, I just have not got around to finding it yet.
According to senior SVR officer Sergei Tretyakov, the Wikipedia:KGB was responsible for creating the entire Wikipedia:nuclear winter story to stop the Pershing missiles. Tretyakov says that from 1979 the KGB wanted to prevent the United States from deploying the missiles in Western Europe and that, directed by Wikipedia:Yuri Andropov, they distributed disinformation, based on a faked "doomsday report" by the Soviet Academy of Sciences about the effect of nuclear war on climate, to peace groups, the environmental movement and the journal AMBIO.
Time magazine debunked his story in
Disinformation by News Corp.
Wikipedia:News Corporation is a worldwide Wikipedia:mass media conglomerate with major assets. A subsidiary of News Corporation, Wikipedia:Fox News Channel (FNC) is a major international Wikipedia:satellite television network, employees of which have been seen using creative editing as a form of distortion propaganda. Another popular method of disinformation is known as anchor doping, which is a method of constructing an opinion panel containing conservative commentators who outnumber a pseudo-liberal commentator that intentionally takes a weak stance so as to smear any liberal viewpoints.
A 2003 University of Maryland study found that people who primarily watched Fox News Channel were more likely to hold misperceptions about the Iraq War (WP) (Wikipedia:2003 invasion of Iraq). FNC has also promoted private schooling, and portrayed Wikipedia:school vouchers as panaceas, while numerous studies show that charters and vouchers do very little to actually improve educational quality.
"Suspected Disinfo Agents"
All of this [unverified]
Claimed by the left wing
Claimed by the right wing
- Wikipedia:David Icke, Michael Ruppert Wikipedia:Michael Ruppert (gotta say, looks like the degree to which he is dangerous to the right wing, via the CIA, far exceeds the amount of facts they can assemble to prove disinformation), Wikipedia:Linda Moulton Howe (she is hated by the right wing as a modern-day Rachel Carson, it would seem)
Who knows (and who cares?)
Paranormal, the occult, UFOs, protoscience and pseudo-science
- James R. Thompson. Born Under A Lucky Star: Reminiscences. Sarmatian Review. URL accessed on 19 July 09.
- Wikipedia:Arjun Makhijani, A Readiness to Harm: The Health Effects of Nuclear Weapons Complexes, Wikipedia:Arms Control Association
- Pete Earley, "Comrade J: The Untold Secrets of Russia's Master Spy in America After the End of the Cold War", Penguin Books, 2007, ISBN 978-0-399-15439-3, pages 167â€“177
- AMBIO, Wikipedia:AMBIO: A Journal of the Human Environment
- D.C.P.. Hannity video switch-up is only the tip of Fox News' video-doctoring iceberg. Wikipedia:Media Matters for America.
- Simon Maloy. Fox News fiddles with climate change polling. Wikipedia:Media Matters for America.
- Fox's Slanted Sources
- http://www.presstv.ir/usdetail/156061.html PressTV
- Misperceptions, the Media and the Iraq War
- Fox News: Investigative Reporting or Partisan Propaganda? BurntOrangeReport
- Michael Ruppert's Collapse.net
- Disinformation - a learning resource from the British Library including an interactive movie and activities