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Health Misinformation, Disinformation, and Malinformation: Guide

Government Publications and Resources for Community Engagement

Definitions

The purpose of this guide is to share government resources aimed at promoting health literacy and preventing the spread of false information known as misinformation, disinformation, and malinformationBefore you explore these resources, please review a few definitions. 

According to the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA),

  • Misinformation is misleading false information that is “communicated and spread, regardless of intent to deceive.” 
  • Disinformation is false information intentionally and strategically crafted to be deceptive. 
  • Malinformation is factual information that is intentionally taken out of context or manipulated and “presented to cause harm.”

Some government publications and resources use the term “misinformation” regardless of the intentions of the creators. Others distinguish between the different types of false information or refer to them collectively as MDM.

Personal health literacy is defined as “the degree to which individuals have the ability to find, understand, and use information and services to inform health-related decisions and actions for themselves and others,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Organizational health literacy is “the degree to which organizations equitably enable individuals to find, understand, and use information and services to inform health-related decisions and actions for themselves and others,” according to the CDC.

Federal Government Publications & Resources

Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA)

CISA has several publications that address internet fraud and misinformation. Bug Bytes, the second graphic novel in the Resilience Series, specifically addresses health misinformation.

National Library of Medicine Bookshelf

Search the National Library of Medicine Bookshelf for books on a variety of topics.

The following free full-text articles can be found in PubMed, a biomedical and health sciences database maintained by the National Center for Biotechnology Information at the National Library of Medicine, located at the National Institutes of Health.

Use these databases and search engines to find more government publications and resources.

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Michele Nicole Johnson
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College of Coastal Georgia
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