CNSC researchers Andrea Rosales and Mireia Fernández-Ardèvol recently published their article titled “Ageism in the era of digital platforms” in SAGE’s journal Convergence. In their article, the authors deepen their analysis on the discriminatory functioning of digital platforms against a digital minority as older people. They identify some of its underlying mechanisms at work and suggest possible ways for more inclusive and fair designs of digital technologies in general.
Abstract: Ageism is the most invisible form of discrimination. While there is some awareness of gender, racial, and socioeconomic discrimination on digital platforms, ageism has received less attention. This article analyzes some tools that are frequently embedded on digital platforms from an old-age perspective, in order to increase awareness of the different ways in which ageism works. We will firstly look at how innovation teams, following homophilic patterns, disregard older people. Secondly, we will show how ageism tends to be amplified by the methods often used on digital platforms. And thirdly, we will show how corporate values contradict the usability issues that mainly affect people with a low level of (digital) skills, which is more common among older people. Counterbalancing the abusive power control of the corporations behind digital platforms and compensating for the underrepresentation of groups in less favorable situations could help to tackle such discrimination.