Disinformation is false information deliberately and often covertly spread in order to influence public opinion or obscure the truth, according to Merriam Webster. It is differentiated from misinformation as it has a deliberate intention to deceive. Misinformation is also false information but is not created with the intention of causing harm.
Government propaganda (like the black propaganda used by KGB in wartime Germany) and planting of rumors are examples of disinformation.
In the Digital Era, where information can be easily shared to and is easily accessible by large groups of people, there has been a rise in new forms of disinformation (like Fake News and increasingly deepfakes) propagated by digital technology and social media platforms.
As information flows freely, it is imperative that citizens are educated, governments are equipped and laws are updated to mitigate the negative effects of widespread false or harmful information. Without these safeguards, legitimate governments can be toppled and wars could start from a single tweet.