The concept has been developed considerably by the sociologist and journalist Dr Damian Thompson (Thompson, 2008).
Thompson (2008: p. 16), adopting the philosophy of Sir Karl Popper, defines counterknowledge as misinformation packaged to look like fact:
"The essence of counterknowledge is that its factual claims can be shown to be wrong. I say 'shown' rather than 'proven' because, in science, observable facts do not 'prove' a theory: they render it probable to some degree.
The difference between a false and true theory is one of probability. For example, hard-line Creationists believe the world is only a few thousand years old; geologists believe it is a few billion years old. We can say with confidence that the latter theory is true because there is a mountain of evidence supporting it. We can also say, with even greater confidence, that the 'young earth' theory is false, because the evidence offered in support of it is so laughably feeble as to be non-existent. We do not need an alternative explanation to knock down a false belief; if there are no facts making a claim even slightly probable, then it is false."
Thompson, D. (2008) Counterknowledge: How we surrendered to conspiracy theories, quack medicine, bogus science and fake history. London. Atlantic Books.