In 1923 Russian revolutionary and poliician Joseph Stalin
, who had previously served as the first editor of Pravda
when it was the official newspaper of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, coined the term desinformatsiya
as the name of a KGB black propaganda
department. Stalin gave the department what he thought was French-sounding name in order to claim the name had a Western origin.
"Russian use began with a "special disinformation office" in 1923.
Disinformation was defined in Great Soviet Encyclopedia
(1952) as "false information with the intention to deceive public opinion". Operation INFEKTION
was a Soviet disinformation campaign to influence opinion that the U.S. invented AIDS
The U.S. did not actively counter disinformation until 1980, when a fake document
reported that the U.S. supported apartheid
." (Wikipedia article on Disinformation, accessed 10-2020)