Do you surf Facebook or some other online portal and see that some older adult has shared some news that you know for a fact is fake? Well, it turns out that people aged 65 years and older are a lot more prone to sharing fake news on such online portals as compared to their younger, more liberal counterparts. The Princeton University and New York University conducted some research which analysed the Facebook posts of nearly 1,200 people who were asked to share the election results of a particular political poll.
They then compared these results to other lists compiled by websites that were known to share false information. It was found that less than 8.5% of the respondents shared a link from one of these websites. However, the ones that did were either in the senior-citizen category or identified as conservative in regards to certain political groups. In fact, users over 65 years of age shared “nearly seven times as many articles from fake news domains”. “No other demographic characteristic seems to have a consistent effect on sharing fake news,” the authors reported.
“It is possible that an entire cohort of Americans, now in their 60s and beyond, lacks the level of digital media literacy necessary to reliably determine the trustworthiness of news encountered online,” they suggested. “Under this account, memory deteriorates with age in a way that particularly undermines resistance to “illusions of truth,” they wrote. Well, here's why it's all the more important to warn such people about the implications of sharing fake news online. Stay tuned for more updates.