Older Americans are far more likely to share fake news on social media.

By |2019-01-11T06:36:59-09:00January 12th, 2019|Categories: News|Tags: , , , , |6 Comments

I think we kinda already knew this. 

Courtesy of The Verge:

Older Americans are disproportionately more likely to share fake news on Facebook, according to a new analysis by researchers at New York and Princeton Universities. Older users shared more fake news than younger ones regardless of education, sex, race, income, or how many links they shared. In fact, age predicted their behavior better than any other characteristic — including party affiliation.

The role of fake news in influencing voter behavior has been debated continuously since Donald Trump’s surprising victory over Hillary Clinton in 2016. At least one study has found that pro-Trump fake news likely persuaded some people to vote for him over Clinton, influencing the election’s outcome. Another study found that relatively few people clicked on fake news links — but that their headlines likely traveled much further via the News Feed, making it difficult to quantify their true reach. The finding that older people are more likely to share fake news could help social media users and platforms design more effective interventions to stop them from being misled.

I imagine that most of us with elderly relatives already had some idea that this was true. 

My mom for instance often uses me to fact check things that she is not sure is true or not, and while this kind of bothers me because I want her to use her own critical thinking skills, it is often a good idea that she asks me before accepting some of the bullshit that comes her way on Facebook. 

I myself am now moving toward that demographic and really hope that my years of reporting on politics and current events will keep me sharp enough to identify facts and separate them from propaganda or misinformation. 

I am not sure exactly when we start habitually retweeting or liking crazy ass memes, but I vow to remain vigilant. 

About the Author:

This blog is dedicated to finding the truth, exposing the lies, and holding our politicians and leaders accountable when they fall far short of the promises that they have made to both my fellow Alaskans and the American people.

6 Comments

  1. Anonymous January 12, 2019 at 3:15 am

    I recently turned 65. I’ve had one rule of thumb that’s served me pretty well for the last 50 years: Don’t believe anything that comes out of the mouth of a Republican.

  2. Anon January 12, 2019 at 5:18 am

    Yeah just go to any old folk home and there will be a population that are old republicans that have become hostile and nutjobs due to trump and Russians swaying them and polluting their minds with fake news. I hope there are no guns allowed in care homes. Its dangerous for caregivers and their democrat kids.

  3. Whatevs January 12, 2019 at 7:11 am

    Yep. I know there are exceptions to this category but almost every time I encounter an online supporter of T.Rump on fb, a quick look at their fb profile shows they are:
    only high school educated
    untraveled/provincial
    white
    religious – usually evangelical Christian
    over 70
    tribal

    in addition their pages are full of:
    logical inconsistencies and biblical cherry-picking
    defenses of why THEIR tribe/family offspring, when doing the very same thing those they rail against are exceptions (see Bristol, two out of wedlock births, one broken relationship, one marriage obsession with material things, but mommy is still pro-abstinence
    just plain nastiness cloaked in religiosity

  4. Anonymous January 12, 2019 at 9:23 am

    Perhaps the education from their time taught them to be trusting of the man in the driving seat. I am 59 and i dont trust politicains. Now, i am telling the young ones not tko trust every bullshit they read or find on the internet. Some young ones i adopted got into fwatching shane dawson who was talking about the flat earthers and i had to talk the kid down that this was pure malarkey. It hadnt dawned on them that this utuber could be misleading them.

  5. Anonymous January 12, 2019 at 3:47 pm

    Well all I can say is anyone that is on Facebook is probable not working with a full deck to begin with.

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