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Facebook & Poynter Institute to Launch “MediaWise for Seniors”

Facebook Partnering with St. Petersburg’s Poynter Institute to Launch “MediaWise for Seniors”

The Poynter Institute, a world-renowned non-profit journalism school, and research organization have partnered with Facebook to launch the MediaWise for Seniors program. The effort is dedicated to teaching older Americans how to find reliable information and spot inaccurate information about the presidential election as well as COVID-19.

“…seniors are more and more exposed to potential misinformation and false news stories.”

Poynter InstituteTraditionally, the MediaWise program teaches teens and college students key digital media literacy and fact-checking skills to ensure they make decisions based on fact. But as older Americans increasingly engage on social media, the program has now expanded to reach this key constituency. With more than 40% of people over the age of 65 actively using social media platforms, seniors are more and more exposed to potential misinformation and false news stories.

The program will use a three-tier approach to support the aging population:

  • Hosting a series of Facebook Lives with Poynter’s PolitiFact that teach media literacy to an audience of more than 814,000 followers;
  • Creating two engaging online classes for seniors on Poynter’s e-learning platform, News University; and
  • Launching a campaign teaching MediaWise tips across social media platforms.


Earlier this summer, Facebook launched the largest voter information campaign in U.S. history, with the goal to help everyone—from first-time voters to those who vote in every election—spot election misinformation for themselves. This is part of a larger effort to help protect the 2020 U.S. elections, which included an initial investment of $2 million to support media literacy projects that empower people to make informed decisions on what to read and share—both on Facebook and across the web.

To learn more about how to access the MediaWise for Seniors program, visit


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