Is there a name for this type of misinformation?

Back in high school, I once found myself in the situation of the whole school knowing certain things about me that I had only told my circle of friends. To find out who had the loose lips, I crafted several significantly different, yet equally juicy stories about myself. I then fed each different lie to each different friend and waited.

Soon the inevitible happened and acquaintances were telling me, “guess what I heard about you?!” I had a pretty good idea of who the blabbermouth was by which story got back to me.

Is there a name for this or am I the only crafty person in the world to have thought of it?

(Yes, I know there are flaws in this. Example, A tells B, C, and D -all my close friends- my secret, then D blabs. However, It would be extremely likely in this case that both A and D’s secrets get out.)

It’s a commom practice for finding out who is a spy. I don’t know if there’s a name for it.

Tom Clancy, in his books, called it a “canary trap.”

Gotta love the 'Dope for instant gratification. :smiley:

I’ve heard that the feudal Japanese called that technique “coloring the waters”.

This sounds at least distantly related to copyright traps.

Dunno that there’s a specific term for it, but it’s a standard part of the disinformation techniques used by counterintelligence. Thinking off the top of my head, they include:
[li]Giving out similar but not identical stories in order to find leaks.[/li][li]Deliberately planting incorrect information to find out if somebody is copying it or leaking it (ie the copyright trap: deliberately making mistakes in text to see if people are copying your work)[/li][li]Deliberately sending out incorrect information and then hoping the enemy repeats it, in order to determine what the enemy is talking about (done by Navy counterintelligence just before the battle of Midway)[/li][li]Staging “fake” intelligence gathering in the hope that the enemy will assume that the fake was the reason for an intelligence coup (a subplot of Neal Stephenson’s Cryptonomicon, but also done for real during WWII)[/li][li](Slightly related) generating lots of spurious message traffic to convince the enemy that you’re organizing a force/attack/plan that doesn’t really exist.[/li][/ul]

Thanks for the replies!

633squadron: Very cool. Now I want to learn more about intelligence.