Why misinformation on WhatsApp can be a worry for older adults

Press/Media: Project or Organisational News Item


Press release describing a project funded by the WhatsApp Research Foundation to study the spread of misinformation in infectious disease outbreaks in India. The project focuses on the information vulnerabiities of older adults, addressing a gap in the literature. 

"Dr Claudia Pagliari, Director of Global eHealth at the University of Edinburgh’s Usher Institute and one of the co-Investigators on the study, added: “The deliberate and inadvertent spread of misinformation on social media is killing people, disrupting services, damaging community cohesion and decreasing trust in important public institutions. I’m delighted that Facebook/WhatsApp has decided to sponsor a set of projects that will build our understanding of these problems and suggest solutions that can be integrated into digital design.... This project extends our previous research on crowdsourcing and social media in health, as well as in digital ethics, to discover how false rumours about the transmission and prevention of infectious diseases spreads on WhatsApp. We’re particularly interested in the factors that determine how it is trusted, interpreted and acted upon by older adults in India.”

Period3 Dec 2018

Media coverage


Media coverage

  • TitleWhy misinformation on WhatsApp can be a worry for older adults
    Degree of recognitionNational
    Media name/outletNorthumbria University
    Media typeWeb
    Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
    DescriptionPress release describing a new study of social media misinformation during infectious disease outbreaks in India
    PersonsClaudia Pagliari, Santosh Vijaykumar


  • Social Media
  • Misinformation
  • FakeNews
  • Older Adults
  • Outbreaks
  • Infectious Disease
  • eHealth
  • Digital Society
  • Digital Health
  • Internet
  • Ethics
  • Data Science
  • Communication