Misinformation is not a new phenomenon but the online world has meant its spread has landed in front of more eyes than ever before.
Covert conspiracies, cover-ups, information they don't want you to know.
Australia has so far been spared from large scale misinformation campaigns, intelligence agencies insist.
But with a federal election coming up, and an environment where reposting an outrageous headline takes a matter of seconds, it's a good time to brush up on the tools needed to detect misinformation and handle those who share it.
Misinformation is the sharing of false information and has become a societal flashpoint around the world as experts debate its impact on political structures.
From a single online user's sharing of false articles, to a country's deliberate campaign to undermine its foes, the umbrella term has been used to cover a broad range of actions.
But there's a slight difference between misinformation, and its more nefarious sibling, disinformation.
Misinformation is regarded as the sharing of false information unknowingly, while disinformation is knowing it's untrue or misleading but putting it out into the world regardless.
Elise Thomas, an open source intelligence analyst for extremism think tank Institute of Strategic Dialogue, said the end results were the same either way.
"It's basically the difference between being wrong and telling a lie," she said.
"If you tell someone that it's raining, when you genuinely think it's raining, and it turns out to not be raining, that would be misinformation [because] that's a mistake.
"Whereas if you tell someone it's raining, and it turns out to not be raining and you knew that all along, and you were lying, then that's disinformation."
The type of information can come in many forms, including articles, images, screenshots or even just sharing chain messages.
Edited images, or even real ones used in false contexts, can manipulate vision to alter narratives to suit another agenda.
In the context of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, image verification has been critical to push back on disinformation campaigns from a number of players.
Other examples can include articles from unverified news sources with misleading headlines.
While mis- and disinformation has been around in some form for a long time, it's impact on modern democratic elections remains unclear.
Recent overseas elections have been marred by allegations of interference campaigns, which used disinformation to attempt to influence votes toward preferred candidates and away from opponents.
After the 2016 US presidential, Russia was accused of meddling in the campaign period by spreading false information to undermine Democrat candidate Hillary Clinton's chances of winning, US security and intelligence agencies said.
It's alleged that Russian operatives used social media bots to spread messages favouring then-US presidential candidate Donald Trump and to undermine confidence in the country's democratic institution.
And experts believe it achieved just that.
Ms Thomas said there had been limited conclusive evidence showing it influenced voters on a major scale, but its impact left the country more distrustful of the democratic process than ever before.
"Once it became public knowledge that this campaign had occurred, the US then spent four years tearing itself apart over the idea of Russian influence," Ms Thomas said.
"That was really corrosive."
Australia, on the other hand, has yet see a major interference campaign by foreign or nefarious actors, domestic intelligence agencies have said.
Ms Thomas said it's more likely Australians will see smaller scale attempts to undermine the political process and it's more likely to come from politicians here rather than boogeymen overseas.
"One of the tricky things about this conversation in the Australian context is that we don't actually require truth [in] political advertising," she said.
"A lot of misinformation [and] disinformation is coming out of official political campaigns."
While it is illegal for companies to advertise false or misleading claims, the requirement of truth doesn't extend to political advertising.
Independent MP Zali Steggall introduced a private members bill to "stop the lies" in October last year, which the Greens and Labor said they would support.
But Ms Thomas predicted it was more likely Australia will see challenges to the federal election's integrity following polling day.
During the 2013 federal election, then-Palmer Australia Party leader Clive Palmer filed an unsuccessful court injunction against the Australian Electoral Commission to stop counting votes at two Fairfax polling booths in a close fight for a seat in the House of Representatives.
"[It's] almost creating an issue, which doesn't exist ... but spreads a misguided perception in the population that there is actually a problem," Ms Thomas said.
It's the million-dollar question and one we can't give the definitive answer for.
Approaching social media and other online posts with a healthy dose of scepticism is a good place to start.
Ms Thomas said getting information from verified and trusted sources is another great step.
If suspicious information is shared by an unknown website, a quick google can often determine whether the story has been reported on by major news outlets.
When it comes to a photo that appears edited or doctored, a reverse image search can also help to understand where it might have originated from.
But for people who are less savvy with the web, it can be a little more tough as those sharing disinformation get smarter and learn better techniques.
Realistically not much in the immediate term says Professor Debra Smith, a social conflict and violent political extremism expert from Victoria University.
"It's super hard because these people from their perspective are identifying a truth that nobody else can see," she said.
"What doesn't work is confronting people and telling them that we don't like the way they think or their beliefs are crazy because essentially what you're attacking is not the argument but the person, because people's identity gets so attached to these particular beliefs."
Professor Smith said one of the worst things to do is cut people off for sharing false information out of your life as it makes them go further down the rabbit hole.
"It's really hard but probably the most helpful thing you can do is not shut the door on them, to give them something to come back to when there is a moment of doubt to tell them that they're cared for," she said.
In the case someone you know is going down a more violent extremism path, such as advocating to overthrow the government, it's important to try and identify the needs of that person to determine what has been driving the behaviour.
There could be a variety of reasons says Professor Smith such as needing a place to belong, a desire for infamy or financial stress.
"When you're down at that end, that real pointy end where people are engaging with the concepts of using violence, then really the only way to deal with it is through personal interventions," she said.
"You really need to work with individually tailored plans with people who you know are safe to engage with that person. So frontline workers, whether that be specially trained social workers, psychologists, IT specialist intervention teams and that kind of thing."
Patience and care is a must to avoid someone becoming isolated.
In the online world it's a big ask for most people, Professor Smith said it can be tempting to engage with someone to win an argument but often winning the battle doesn't win the war.
"When people feel personally attacked, they tend to retreat and solidify that position rather than actually soften it," she said.
Professor Smith recommended talking to people about areas of shared interests and showing compassion in order to prevent those at risk going further down the path of misinformation as creating online arguments makes little difference.
"What you're really doing there is actually engaging in a dialogue that's about making you feel better about yourself, rather than being helpful to the problem," she said.
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