Hablatam: Digital Literacy and Misinformation among Young People

The Project Aims to Research the Relationship of Young People with Digital Technologies

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Digital technology allows young people to participate in the consumption, creation and dissemination of content in a revolutionary manner for culture and the industry. Changes in the digital information ecosystem come with innovative opportunities for learning, participation, journalism and civic engagement: remixed videos, memes, exchange of views on fan fiction forums, and contributions to Wikipedia are just a few examples.

At the same time, massive growth of the internet and usage of social media as well as instant messaging apps has caused profound structural changes in the information ecosystem, affecting directly the quality of this environment and of the information itself.

Therefore, we believe young people have an important role in modern society in the fight against misinformation due to their capacity to participate in digital collaboration.

However, although young people are less likely to spread false information than the elderly due to more digital literacy, they are strongly impacted by the challenge of lacking resources to deal with misinformation itself. 

Besides suffering a participation gap (since not all young people have the same access to digital technology), on several occasions young people do not have the necessary skills to oppose misinformation or even the power to do so.

Thus, the Hablatam project aims to study the relationship between young people and digital technology, focusing on three aspects:

  1. Discover, in detail, the perspectives and day-to-day activities of young people with digital technology, focusing on the skills they possess as well as the skills they don’t possess and wish to learn;
  2. Explore, from a young person’s perspective, what content is missing or inadequate for them to develop digital skills;
  3. Understand the dynamics behind the research, selection, verification, consumption and sharing of information, as well as discover how young people perceive and understand the concept of quality for information.

Hablatam was created by the Conectados al Sur (Connected in the South) consortium of researchers. It is composed of researchers from the Instituto de Tecnologia e Sociedade (Institute of Technology and Society – ITS, Brazil), University of Chile, the NGO Faro Digital (Digital Lighthouse, Argentina) and the Berkman Klein Center from Harvard University, USA.

Find out more about the project on the Hablatam website.

More about Conectados al Sur (CaS) & ITS Rio

Conectados al Sur (Cas) is the regional segment of the Digitally Connected global network. We are a multisectoral network (consisting of academia, NGOs, private sector, government, political actors and civil society) created through a collaborative effort from the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University along with UNICEF.

Digitally Connected focuses on analyzing the growth and trends of digital technology and social media, along with its usage by children and young people worldwide.

Our regional focus is to analyze the opportunities and challenges of the digital world for this group in Latin America and the Carribean. Members of CaS work by actively contributing to new research and engaging in activities that help create more inclusive societies for young people.