Misinformation and disinformation on social media are problems for everyone, but it does not affect everyone equally. Older adults have a harder time identifying misleading or untruthful social media content. Even worse, they also are more likely to believe it and share it. We understand what disinformation looks like, why it appeals to people and how certain platforms contribute to its circulation. This group will go a step further to develop strategies to help older adults use social media responsibly. The project will achieve this in three ways:

  • Investigate the shared qualities of messages that older adults believe, as well as the barriers they face to digital literacy.
  • Develop trainings and workshops to help people evaluate social media messages, particularly those on digital forums that encourage a rapid response –since these are more likely to lend themselves to amplifying false messages.
  • Host a conference to highlight the most productive approaches for redressing misinformation among older adults around the world and share policy recommendations with US security and policy officials.

Overall, our work focuses on how to tailor AI strategies to address misinformation and disinformation targeted at older adults and provide training that improves their social media encounters.

 

Project team: Sharon Strover (School of Journalism), Tricia Moravec (Department of Information, Risk, & Operations Management), Matt Lease (School of Information), Samuel Woolley (School of Journalism) and Jaewon Choi (Radio-Television-Film)