What is Public Policy and Disinformation?

Updated: Jun 7, 2020

What is Public Policy in a Democratic System?

In a democratic system, public policies are created by mayors, local elected boards, as well as the executive and legislative branches at both the state and federal level.

The key difference between public policy and other types of policy is that they are created by government at the city, state or national level. These policies are intended to control the behaviors of the individuals located in their jurisdiction.  

The intersection of Politics and Policy

Balancing demands with pragmatic decision-making

When deciding on public policy governments generally have to balance public demand with a pragmatic decision-making process.

In order to accomplish this the effectiveness and efficiency of the policy are evaluated. 

While many ideas would benefit the public the cost, time and technology involved can be prohibitive.

Due to the fact the government cannot accomplish everything that is demanded by its constituents it is important to thoroughly evaluate the use of resources and potential success of public policy.

At it’s core each policy is evaluated based on the benefits that will be received after the costs of implementation are subtracted.


The optics of a public policy often have a strong influence on the creation and effectiveness of public policy.

Disinformation and public relations issues can overshadow the facts concerning policy. Campaigns have completely changed since the advent of social media. Disinformation here are usually various stakeholders who all have their own motivations and attempt to influence public policy. An example of these influencers are lobbyists.

Examples of and tools of misinformation

  • Bots and Trolls - Modern misinformation has been has been accelerated by the use of automated online accounts to push an agenda. Examples of this have been seen in China, Russia and the United States.

  • Fake News Websites - Websites that mislead the reader to believing they are legitimate news sources. These websites are usually based on a particular agenda.

  • Hoax Websites - Websites that produce intentionally false stories. These sites usually push a particular policy or agenda.

  • Fake Social Media Accounts - Accounts created to push an agenda that deceive the public about who the account belongs.

  • Satirical Websites - Similar to fake news websites, these sites create fake stories that meant to be humorous. Example of this is the Onion.

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