Older people, conservatives more likely to share fake news: study




During the 2016 US presidential campaign, researchers from Princeton University and New York University surveyed over 2,711 Facebook users, of whom 49 percent agreed to share their profile data when asked after the election
During the 2016 US presidential campaign, researchers from Princeton University and New York University surveyed over 2,711 Facebook users, of whom 49 percent agreed to share their profile data when asked after the election  

Washington (AFP) - Facebook users aged 65 plus and conservatives are more likely to share fake news on the platform than younger or more liberal counterparts, according to a new study published Wednesday.

During the 2016 US presidential campaign, researchers from Princeton University and New York University surveyed over 2,711 Facebook users, of whom 49 percent agreed to share their profile data when asked after the election.

They then compared links the respondents had shared on Facebook with several lists -- including one compiled by BuzzFeed -- of websites known to share false information.

The study, published in Science Advances, found less than only 8.5 percent of respondents shared a link from one of these websites.

However, of those that did, they tended to be older, and self-identified as being on the conservative end of the political spectrum.

In fact, users over 65 -- regardless of political affiliations -- shared "nearly seven times as many articles from fake news domains" as 18 to 29-year-olds, the youngest age group studied.

"No other demographic characteristic seems to have a consistent effect on sharing fake news," wrote the study's authors, led by politics professor Andrew Guess of Princeton University.

"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.

The authors also suggested the impact of aging on memory could have an effect.

"Under this account, memory deteriorates with age in a way that particularly undermines resistance to "illusions of truth," they wrote.

Although the study found that Republicans shared more fake news than Democrats, and ideologically, conservatives shared the most fake news stories -- this could be due to the fact that most fake news articles produced during the 2016 presidential campaign favored US President Donald Trump.

"Had the slant of fake news been pro-Clinton instead of pro-Trump, it is possible that more liberals than conservatives would have shared this content," the authors wrote in a Washington Post op-ed.

COMMENTS

More Related News

U.S. Special Counsel Mueller to testify before House panels on July 17: statement
U.S. Special Counsel Mueller to testify before House panels on July 17: statement
  • US
  • 2019-06-26 01:22:17Z

U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who issued a report in April on Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, will testify in open session before the House of Representatives Judiciary and Intelligence Committees on July 17, the panels' Democratic chairmen said on Tuesday. Representative Jerrold Nadler, chairman of the judiciary panel, and Representative Adam Schiff, head of the intelligence panel, said in a joint statement that Mueller had agreed to testify after the two committees issued subpoenas on Tuesday. A representative for Mueller did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Facebook
Facebook's Libra cryptocurrency faces questions from international regulators

Chair of Financial Stability Board says company's plans could spark closer scrutiny of cryptocurrenciesUK regulators have warned that Libra, if successful, would 'have to be subject to the highest standards of regulation'. Photograph: Dado Ruvić/ReutersFacebook's Libra cryptocurrency is facing increasing skepticism from international regulators days after ambitious plans for it were unveiled by the social media company.On Tuesday, Randal Quarles, chair of the Financial Stability Board (FSB), a policy coordinator for G20 countries, said Facebook's plan to expand into retail payments could lead regulators to take a closer look at such financial instruments.Quarles's comments mark the first...

How Much Is Your Data Worth to Facebook and Google? A New Senate Bill Aims to Find Out
How Much Is Your Data Worth to Facebook and Google? A New Senate Bill Aims to Find Out

How Much Is Your Data Worth to Facebook and Google? A New Senate Bill Aims to Find Out

The U.S. House has scheduled its hearing for Facebook
The U.S. House has scheduled its hearing for Facebook's Libra; David Marcus reportedly set to attend

Just one day after the Senate Banking Committee is scheduled to discuss Facebook's Libra, the House will follow-up. U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters, Chair of the U.S.The post The U.S. House has scheduled its hearing for Facebook's Libra; David Marcus reportedly set to attend appeared first on The Block.

No evidence Russia influenced Brexit via Facebook, says Clegg
No evidence Russia influenced Brexit via Facebook, says Clegg
  • US
  • 2019-06-24 08:45:30Z

There is "absolutely no evidence" that outside forces such as Russia used Facebook to target users and influence Britain's vote to leave the European Union, the world's biggest social network said on Monday. Nick Clegg, head of global affairs at Facebook and Britain's former deputy prime minister, said the network had run two full analyses of its data held in the run up to the 2016 referendum and found no evidence of a significant attempt by outside forces to influence the outcome.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: Latin America

facebook
Hit "Like"
Don't miss any important news
Thanks, you don't need to show me this anymore.