Mia Hassoun
Credit: Mia Hassoun

Mia Hassoun, Affiliate of the Minderoo Centre for Technology and Democracy, has been awarded a three-year Research Fellowship at Darwin College.

Mia Hassoun, Affiliate of the Minderoo Centre for Technology and Democracy, has been elected Research Fellow at Darwin College. This is a three-year appointment commencing on 1 October 2023 and ending on 30 September 2026. Mia will be a member of the Governing Body of Darwin College.

Mia’s research examines how young people aged 13-26 in Brazil, India, and the United States search and engage with information online, focusing on health and election information.

To give young people strategies to identify misinformation, Mia argues that we need to understand their online information practices and desires in context. Her primary research questions are:

(1) Why, where, and how do young people seek information online?

(2) Under what circumstances do young people attempt to assess if information they engage with online is accurate, credible, and high-quality, and how do they perform such assessments?

(3) What factors affect young people’s susceptibility to misinformation?

Mia argues that existing literacy-based approaches, which define and measure core competencies for assessing information, largely focus on individual weaknesses.

Such a focus can miss the core values young people use to assess information and fail to understand why they might share misinformation. In the study so far, participants primarily value information based on its relevance to their social relationships.

As they encounter information, they assess it in relation to their peers, family, and go-to sources, interpreting and valuing (or disregarding) new information based on the pull of these social influences.

Information literacy interventions should support youth in meeting their own needs and building resilience to misinformation, given the social nature of information seeking, evaluating, and sharing.

You can find further details in the University Reporter