‘’Reenviado Muchas Veces”: How Platform Warnings Affect WhatsApp Users in Mexico and Colombia

Kevin Munger, Angel Villegas-Cruz, Jorge Gallego, Mateo Vásquez-Cortés

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Digital literacy affects how people use the internet. However, we argue that the concept of “digital literacy” cannot usefully be applied to all internet users; there is simply too much heterogeneity across devices, platforms, and social contexts. We conduct surveys in Mexico and Colombia to understand how these people use the internet. We find that WhatsApp is by far the dominant platform across all sectors of society. In contrast to evidence from the US, we find that education is a better predictor of two measures of digital literacy than is age. We then conduct a survey experiment to test how people understand news shared on WhatsApp. We find that the inclusion of a link to source material increases respondents’ trust in a message shared on WhatsApp, but that the platform-supplied note that a message has been shared many times has no such effect.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPolitical Communication
StateAccepted/In press - 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Communication
  • Sociology and Political Science

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