UNRIC Library Backgrounder: Combat Misinformation – Selected Online Resources on Misinformation, Disinformation and Hate Speech


Disinformation is information that is not only inaccurate, but is also intended to deceive and is spread in order to inflict harm. Disinformation can be spread by State or non-State actors in multiple contexts, including during armed conflict, and can affect all areas of development, from peace and security to human rights, public health, humanitarian aid and climate action.

Misinformation refers to the unintentional spread of inaccurate information shared in good faith by those unaware that they are passing on falsehoods. Misinformation can be rooted in disinformation as deliberate lies and misleading narratives are weaponized over time, fed into the public discourse and passed on unwittingly. In practice, the distinction between mis- and disinformation can be difficult to determine.

Hate speech, according to the working definition in the United Nations Strategy and Plan of Action on Hate Speech, is “any kind of communication in speech, writing or behaviour, that attacks or uses pejorative or discriminatory language with reference to a person or a group on the basis of who they are, in other words, based on their religion, ethnicity, nationality, race, colour, descent, gender or other identity factor”.

Mis- and disinformation and hate speech are related but distinct phenomena, with certain areas of overlap and difference in how they can be identified, mitigated and addressed. All three pollute the information ecosystem and threaten human progress.

Source: Our Common Agenda: Policy Brief 8: Information Integrity on Digital Platforms


Our Common Agenda: Report of the Secretary-General (A/75/982)

Our Common Agenda: Report of the Secretary-General
(A/75/982, 5 August 2021)
Our Common Agenda is the Secretary-General’s vision for the future of global cooperation. It calls for inclusive, networked, and effective multilateralism to better respond and deliver for the people and planet and to get the world back on track by turbocharging action on the Sustainable Development Goals. It outlines possible solutions to address the gaps and risks that have emerged since 2015, calling for a Summit of the Future that will be held in 2024.


Policy Brief 8 Our Common Agenda: Policy Brief 8: Information Integrity on Digital Platforms
“Summary: … The present policy brief is focused on how threats to information integrity are having an impact on progress on global, national and local issues. In Our Common Agenda, I called for empirically backed consensus around facts, science and knowledge. To that end, the present brief outlines potential principles for a code of conduct that will help to guide Member States, the digital platforms and other stakeholders in their efforts to make the digital space more inclusive and safe for all, while vigorously defending the right to freedom of opinion and expression, and the right to access information. The code of conduct for information integrity on digital platforms is being developed in the context of preparations for the Summit of the Future. My hope is that it will provide a gold standard for guiding action to strengthen information integrity. …”






  • World Health Organization (WHO)


Mis- and Disinformation on Climate Change




Hate Speech


Related information sources


Last update: 14 June 2024
not an official document – for information only

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