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Over 65s "more likely" to share fake news
Quote:Americans aged over 65 are much more likely than younger people to share fake news on Facebook, researchers say.

Their study looked at the behaviour of Facebook users before and after the 2016 US presidential election.

It found age was a better predictor of whether people passed around links to sites producing untrue stories than any other characteristic.

But, it said, only 8.5% of people shared any stories generated by fake news sites.

You'd think these senior citizens would know better, especially on the Internet. Sounds like another factor to that election being "rigged". Even if the younger generation have faults of their own, at least they don't go around spreading those kind of lies everywhere, whether it's Facebook or Twitter.
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According to the original study, the situation isn't as bad as the article makes it sound - and also not as bad as many people would believe (including myself, prior to seeing this). 

The study includes the following graphs - first, of the number of web links shared in total, and second, of the number of fake news stories shared: 

Click to enlarge
(Click to enlarge)
(Source: Science Advances; View licence terms)

As we can see from the second graph (and as noted in the article), 91.5% of users shared no fake news stories at all. Of the ones who did, the majority shared only one, and nearly all of the rest shared between two and four. This suggests that the people who did share fake news generally did so by mistake, and the percentage of people who are purposely sharing it to mislead people is vanishingly small. So, it seems it's a problem that's arguably being overblown (although, Trump himself is probably the #1 perpetrator when it comes to overblowing this particular problem!)

As for why over-65s are doing it more, I suspect there are a number of factors. Part of it is probably tech illiteracy, and not understanding how much garbage is floating around on the internet (or knowing how to spot it). Part of it is probably simply the fact that they grew up in an era when the news in general was more trustworthy and fact-based, and there was much less sensationalism (so they're taking these at face value because they "look official"). Part of it's probably that a greater proportion of posts by over-65s consist of news and 'serious' stuff (while younger people are sharing more memes, cat videos and the like).

(Actually, that's probably another thing to consider. It may well be that younger people were sharing as just as much content which was misleading or outright fabricated; however, it was done in the form of memes like this and this and this - all of which are completely false - instead of news links. It doesn't look as though the study took that into account!)
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