Last Updated: November 2023

Malpublish /mal-PUB-lish/: 


To knowingly publish/post demonstrably false, inaccurate, misleading, unattributed, or unauthorized content; and failing to promptly and overtly correct or cease to distribute any such previously published content once these issues are known.


Compound of the prefix 'mal-' (meaning bad or wrongful) + 'publish'.


verb: malpublish; 3rd person present: malpublishes; past tense: malpublished; past participle: malpublished; gerund or present participle: malpublishing

Example Sentences

Related Terms and Derivatives


Misinform, misdirect, deceive, misrepresent, disinform, falsify, distort, mislead.


Inform, report, verify, authenticate, substantiate, validate, corroborate, enlighten, disclose.


Malpublishing is characterized by objective breaches of the publishing process, such as:

Why "malpublish"

From the onset of publishing, there have been instances of dishonest practices. Yet, surprisingly, a concise term pinpointing these unethical practices has been missing. Similar to how 'plagiarize' distinctly refers to the act of copying someone's work(1), there's a need for a term that specifically identifies the act of irresponsibly publishing content that violates objective standards.

Enter 'Malpublish.' This term serves as a crucial tool, empowering everyone, from casual readers to professional publishers, to identify and address these unethical practices. It's not just about coining a new word; it's about enhancing global communication. 'Malpublish' directly calls out instances where information is shared without clarity, accuracy, or honesty, addressing the source and intent behind it. In an era where misinformation rapidly spreads online, 'Malpublish' stands as a beacon for truth, aiding in the detection and rectification of false information. It's a step towards ensuring access to reliable information, fostering informed decisions and a cohesive society. Elevating the integrity of our published content is essential, and 'Malpublish' is pivotal in achieving this goal.


The term "malpublish" fuses the Latin prefix "mal-" meaning bad or wrong, with the verb "publish," hinting at wrongful publishing practices. This structure mirrors other terms like "malpractice" or "malfunction," where the prefix "mal-" denotes an incorrect or harmful action. The etymology of "malpublish" not only provides a clear indication of its meaning but also aims to align with existing linguistic structures, facilitating its acceptance and understanding.

Comparative Exploration

Comparing "malpublish" with existing terms unveils a unique niche. While terms like misinformation or disinformation denote false or misleading information, they don't specifically address the act of publishing such information. "Malpublish" fills this gap, encapsulating the act of incorrect or harmful publishing practices.

Practical Application

The essence of avoiding malpublishing lies in the clarity of information dissemination. The term urges a clear delineation of the nature of information - be it fact, opinion, or theory, and advocates for credible citations to uphold the integrity of published material. This practice transcends from primary to secondary sources, emphasizing the collective responsibility in fostering a reliable information ecosystem.


Published material often comprises various pieces of information, each belonging to a different nature like facts, beliefs, or theories. Let's term these pieces "elements." Each element within a publication is evaluated against the definition of malpublish. If any element is found to be malpublished, the entire work is deemed malpublished, labeling the publisher as a malpublisher. It's crucial that each element is distinctly presented, avoiding any ambiguous conflation with other elements within published material.

Avoiding Malpublishing as a Primary Source

Avoiding Malpublishing as a Secondary Source


Take timely and appropriate corrective actions when misinformation is identified, including issuing corrections, retractions, or apologies.


The digital era has made sharing information effortless, but not without challenges. The term "malpublish" highlights one such challenge, irresponsible publishing.

The need for a term like "malpublish" becomes glaring in real-world scenarios. For instance, political propaganda or misinformation during health crises like COVID-19 are instances where malpublishing can have dire consequences. It serves to categorize and combat such irresponsible publishing practices which can, in turn, foster a more informed public.

"Malpublish" could significantly impact various domains. In education, it can be a catalyst for teaching discernment between credible and malpublished information. In the digital domain, platforms can adopt mechanisms to flag malpublished content, fostering a more reliable digital discourse. Additionally, in legal terms, it could assist in crafting policies against misinformation, providing a framework to address the challenges associated with digital publishing.

Defining irresponsible publishing helps in building a narrative that encourages responsible information dissemination. It provides a terminology for an action that was previously not as clearly defined, thereby aiding in creating more structured dialogues around the challenges of digital publishing.

By adopting "malpublish" in discussions surrounding digital publishing, a step is taken towards addressing the misinformation issue. It's a straightforward call to action, urging the need for transparency and accountability in publishing, which is essential for a more informed society.

Publication Category:
Linguistic Innovation; Neologism

Roarke Clinton

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Ongoing Updates
The document will be updated with new information, studies, or examples, showing commitment to keeping the content relevant and factual.