Determinants of the Ability to Identify Fake News Among Seniors in Portugal: A Proposal

Maria Pinho, ISCAP Politécnico do Porto
Luciana Oliveira, CEOS.PP ISCAP Politécnico do Porto


The COVID-19 pandemic boosted the production and circulation of false information, especially online, leading the World Health Organization to classify this phenomenon as an infodemic, i.e., a misinformation epidemic. In addition to this, the growing aging of the population is a reality not only in Portugal, but throughout the world. The Internet, and in particular social networks, can be an important contribution to the well-being of the elderly, reducing their social isolation. However, it makes them even more susceptible to the consumption of false information. Considering the increasing contact with fake news, it is important to evaluate the determinants of the ability of the elderly to identify fake news. In this article we present a research proposal with a quantitative methodology, based on a hypothetical-deductive process, supported by a self-administered online questionnaire survey for data collection, to meet this objective.