People aged above 65 likely to share more fake news, study finds

Fake News

A new study published in the journal Science Advances has revealed that people above the age of 65 are more likely to share fake news on social media platforms when compared to young ones.

Scientists made this conclusion after analyzing the proportion of fake news shared on social media during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Researchers at New York University's Social Media and Political Participation (SMaPP) Lab and Princeton University who conducted the study used the survey results from the polling firm YouGov before making the conclusion about fake news sharing and age of people.

"Despite widespread interest in the fake news phenomenon, we know very little about who actually shares fake news. This study takes a first step towards answering this question. Perhaps most significantly, we find that sharing this type of content on Facebook was a relatively rare activity during the 2016 presidential campaign," said Joshua Tucker, a professor of politics at NYU and co-director of the SMaPP Lab in a recent statement.

During the study, researchers found that only 3 percent of people aged between 18-29 shared fake news on social media platforms, while more than 11 percent of people aged above 65 share unreliable stories.

Researchers also added that age should be considered as a crucial factor while determining while conducting future researchers on fake news spreading. They also suggested that less digital media literacy could be one of the reasons why aged people tend to share fake news.

"If seniors are more likely to share fake news than younger people, then there are important implications for how we might design interventions to reduce the spread of fake news," said Andrew Guess, an assistant professor of politics and public affairs at Princeton University.

Interestingly, the study also found that factors like education, income and gender were not directly related to sharing of fake news.

Related topics : Fake news