Building Sociality through Sharing: Seniors’ Perspectives on Misinformation

Wason, Mahika; Gupta, Sharmistha Swasti; Venkatraman, Shriram; Kumaraguru, Ponnurangam

This paper attempts to understand the perspectives of the seniors (aged 65 years and above) on misinformation in the Indian context. Interviews with 33 seniors who use social media regularly revealed three themes. The seniors viewed and rationalized sharing news irrespective of its veracity as a process of building sociality. Sharing information was also based on the logic of superimposing information with an epistemic ascription to the networks from where they received it. Finally, a kind of normative dualism becomes apparent from an acknowledgment of the role they may play in the spread of misinformation as agents on the one hand and a resounding need to stop it on the other due to its potential social ramifications.