As Claire Wordle and Hossein Derakshan write in the UNESCO handbook Journalism, ‘Fake News’ & Disinformation, there exists a spectrum of incorrect information. While the term "fake news" has been used to describe this concept, the politicization of the phrase has diminished its usefulness in helping us evaluate information. Instead, the term "information disorder" helps us categorize and better understand the various formats of false information and its intended impact on its audience.
Journalists, librarians, and academics identify the types of information disorder:
Misinformation: Information that is false but not created with the intention of causing harm
Disinformation: Information that is false and deliberately created to harm a person, social group, organization or country
Malinformation: Information that is based on reality, used to inflict harm on a person, social group, organization or country.