Women and Hoax News Processing on Whatsapp
Hani Noor Ilahi


In the Indonesian dictionary, hoaxes are defined as fake news, while in the Oxford English Dictionary, hoax is defined as a humorous or malicious deception. The word hoax became popular with the development of technology that has potentially increased the circulation of the hoax news. One of the ways hoax news circulates is through mobile instant messaging applications like WhatsApp, where users can interact directly or between individuals who are members of a group. In Indonesia by 2017, WhatsApp was the most-used and longest mobile instant messaging application, having 35.87 million users. This study focuses on women using Whatsapp, as previous studies have shown that women are the dominant social media users in Indonesia. By using the elaboration likelihood model, this study wanted to see how women process hoax messages about child abduction on Whatsapp. The results of research through interviews and surveys indicate that women tend to process hoax messages about abduction children through peripheral lines. The lack of media literacy and the tendency to prioritize the emotional aspects of a story make some women vulnerable to spreading hoaxes through WhatsApp. In this study, the researchers recommend a digital empowerment movement to improve women’s media literacy through an online lecture model on WhatsApp. This program should be professionally managed by experts or academics from relevant fields of study.