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People Over The Age Of 65 Are Seven Times More Likely To Share 'Fake News' Than Youngsters

Did you know that people over the age of 65 are more likely to share fake news than people in the age group of 18-19?

Raka Mukherjee | News18.com@RakaMukherjeee

Updated:January 11, 2019, 2:31 PM IST
People Over The Age Of 65 Are Seven Times More Likely To Share 'Fake News' Than Youngsters
File photo

People over the age of 65 are more likely to share "fake news" than younger generations, a new study has found.

Titled, "Less than you think: Prevalence and predictors of fake news dissemination on Facebook" a study published in Science Advances, compiled by researchers from New York University and Princeton, showed how the age group of people over 65 were more likely to share "Fake News," at a rate that is almost seven times that of young 'uns.

The study results showed that more than 11% of people aged 65 or over shared links to fake stories. By contrast, only 3% of those aged 18-29 actively passed on similar links.

Why was age-group the key determining point for the study?

"No other demographic characteristic we examined - gender, income, education - had any consistent relationship with the likelihood of sharing fake news," wrote the paper's authors in a report published in the Washington Post.

The reason for this age-group being the most likeliest to spread fake news still remains somewhat undetermined though.

The researchers could only speculate that digital illiteracy among older people kept them from spotting the signs of wrong or bogus news. They also suggested that it could be linked to age-related cognitive decline, which made them easier to fool.

Although the numbers of links being shared were relatively small, they could have a significant impact said the researchers, because the study showed how far more people read fake news than re-circulated it.

The study also found how even though "fake news" became a hotly debated topic after the 2016 US Presidential Elections, the vast majority of Facebook users did not share any fake news stories during the same.

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