Misinformation is false or inaccurate information that is spread unintentionally. It is distinguished from disinformation by motive in that misinformation is simply erroneous, while disinformation, in contrast, is intended to mislead.
Adam Makkai proposes the distinction between misinformation and disinformation to be a defining characteristic of idioms in the English language. An utterance is only idiomatic if it involves disinformation, where the listener can decode the utterance in a logical, and lexically correct, yet erroneous way. Where the listener simply decodes the lexemes incorrectly, the utterance is simply misinformation, and not idiomatic.
Damian Thompson defines counterknowledge as "misinformation packaged to look like fact." Using the definition above, this may refer to disinformation, as the motive is deliberate and often pecuniary.
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