noun[ in-foh-dem-ik ]
An excess of information, often unreliable, that spreads quickly and makes it hard for people to know what’s true.

Why it matters

Disinformation, scams and propaganda are among the most critical problems of our time, with economic costs in the billions and deadly consequences for public health. The flood of unreliable information, which we have dubbed 'the infodemic,' has fueled distrust and division, threatening our society and democracy. It's time to take action, fight back, and protect ourselves from being manipulated.
Moving Scams Image


A dishonest or illegal plan to trick someone to give up something of value, such as money.

Scammers target college campuses with phishing emails

Fraudulent-but-authentic-looking offers flood student and faculty inboxes as universities scramble to avoid data breaches.

Phone scammers wreak havoc on Americans and their wallets

Bots, voicemails and con artist calls stole more than $40 billion from nearly 70 million people in 2022.

Illustration of global gift card trading

Gift cards star as scammers digital cyber mules

Gift cards play a key role in the scam economy, providing both a target for theft and a mechanism to turn ill-begotten gains into cash.

How YouTubers turn the tables to bait and expose scammers

Inside the community of “scambaiters” who confront, fool and expose scammers on the digital frontlines.

illustration police officer running on a hamster wheel catching up to scam alerts

Scams overwhelm law enforcement at every level

With online scams up 87% since 2015, authorities are struggling to keep up with the mainly untraceable crimes.

Participants in the forum April 22nd select their favorite ideas for combating disinformation during "dotmocracy."

Syracuse residents surface solutions for fighting scams

A survey and public forums explore the syracuse community's ideas for combating disinformation

Moving Spin Image


To describe something in a certain way to influence what people think; propaganda.
"Keep Knowledge Uncaged" is displayed at Soule Library to raise awareness of banned books.

Unshelved: Book bans target Black and LGBTQ authors

New data on America’s most banned titles shows that authors of color and LGBTQ+ themes are the most targeted.

Illustration by Elizabeth Coleman

Dupe Culture: is there such a thing as a good deal on a fake?

How Gen-Zers has convinced themselves they’re OK bargain shopping for faux and knockoff merchandise.

A general view of highway I-81 in Syracuse, NY on April 9, 2023. Photo taken by Isaiah Vasquez

A Tale of Tailpipes: Which I-81 solution is green?

A judge found deficiencies in the state's environmental review of the I-81 project. We ask: which option is best for the environment?

Media twists, ignores the stories of disabled people

Experts say accurate portrayals of disability are rare as the media often fails to see people with disabilities as part of the audience. 

Illustrated by Elizabeth Coleman | Photo by Nina Gerzema

Experts: Governments break law by hiding behind nonprofits

The Onondaga County Zoo’s naming contest for baby elephants sheds light on a scheme governments use to avoid public scrutiny.

College Republican Chairman, John Parker, stands for a portrait on campus in Syracuse, New York on Friday, April 14, 2023.

Conservatives step up their fight against censorship

While disinformation on social media fuels distrust, right-leaning advocates say the bigger concern is censorship.

Photo illustration of dry-scooping powder as a health and diet supplement

Fad or fake? How health trends cause misinformation

Practices like dry scooping are prevalent enough on social media to be deemed a “major public health concern.”

Negative political ads on television for New York governor's race

Experts worry attack ads distort truth without lying

Negative political spots can help voters better understand candidates, but some stray into disinformation and undermine democracy.

Moving Distrust Image


A lack of trust or confidence; a feeling that someone or something cannot be relied on.
Illustration by Matthew Brodsky

Deep fakes and AI are reinventing seeing and believing

Technological trends and tricks have infiltrated every aspect of our daily lives from politics to religion to pop culture.

Syracuse Public Safety Building

Do SPD efforts at community relations portray reality?

To help connect with the community it polices, Syracuse Police work with interns from Syracuse University.

Illustration by Syracuse University Student, Danny Khan

College rumors gone wild: risks to students often exaggerated

Professor says sharing stories of criminal encounters can form prejudices between SU students and the local community.

Art by Haudenosaunee artist Arnold Jacobs on display at the The Skä•noñh – Great Law of Peace Center is a Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) Cultural Center in Liverpool, New York.

Cultural centers allow Indigenous people to tell their own stories

Haudenosaunee say the NY State Museum misrepresents them and their history while the Skä•noñh Center tells a different story.

Illustration by Syracuse University Student, Danny Khan

Syracuse professors seek solutions to plague of disinformation

As trust erodes in democratic institutions, researchers are pursuing ways to curb false and misleading information.

FOCUS event in February in Syracuse, New York

Taking strides to restoring trust in today’s society

Syracuse University researchers and local leaders are taking proactive approaches to combating disinformation.

Illustration of watching True Crime television

True crime or fake news? Some shows cross the line

Despite its popularity, true crime media can sacrifice important nuances of crime for the sake of drama.

The shuttered location of the Dr. William A. Harris Health Center on Slocum Avenue in Syracuse, New York

A Syracuse clinic for women closes. Distrust fills the void

A lack of trusted sources and the overturning of Roe v. Wade has increased misinformation on women’s reproductive health.

Moving Disinformation Image


False information deliberately spread to deceive people, influence public opinion or obscure the truth.
Illustration of encountering disinformation

Social media amplifies an ancient problem: Propaganda

Disinformation dates to antiquity. But new technologies have enabled it to spread faster than ever.

illustration of a hand reaching out of a pile of law papers and a scale

Taking disinformation to court will require new tools

Legal experts say traditional legal remedies like libel laws will have a limited effect on misinformation.

Buffalo Bills' safety Damar Hamlin waves from the sidelines during a Syracuse men's basketball against Duke on Saturday, February 18, 2023 at JMA Wireless Dome.

Conspiracies about Damar Hamlin’s injury find traction

Social media outrage fueled false theories about the Buffalo Bills safety’s on-field collapse.

Fake news seeps into Upstate New York’s houses of worship

Local pastors are aiming to help their congregations be able to discern the truth in today's issues.

"Truth Study Center" fills most of the MOMA gallery room space located at the center of Wolfgang Tillmans's retrospective.

Museum-goers encouraged to question the truth at NYC exhibit

Artist Wolfgang Tillmans has included a table-based “Truth Study Center” at the core of most of his major exhibitions since 2005.

Illustration for Russian Troll Farm play

‘Russian Troll Farm’ finally trolls IRL at Rochester’s Geva Theatre

A play originally performed on Zoom depicts Russian Internet Agency workers trying to sway America's 2016 election.

Falling siding exposes chipping lead paint on an abondoned house in Fair's neighborhood.

Some see the Syracuse lead-poisoning crisis as over. It’s not.

Has the city let its guard down on the dangers of lead poisoning? Experts and advocates fear the answer is 'yes.'

Mental Health Illustration by Sofya Mikhaylova

Experts work to destigmatize mental illness and addiction

Counselors and people in recovery discuss the impact of harmful rhetoric on addiction perception.