Why do we share fake news? One simple answer, we don’t know that it is fake. We usually do not get into the factual information about the news feed we are given. Putting aside the figures, we don’t make an effort to know the authenticity of what we are reading. With such a negligent behaviour comes, easy spread of fake news. In a study conducted by Researchers at the New York University and Princeton University, people over 65 years of age are most likely to share fake news.
Here the case study comes the popular social-networking site, Facebook. The study further tells us that, older people absolutely regardless of their gender, race, financial status, country, education or even their time spent on the platform, share the most percentage of fake news.
This phenomenon of behaviour is directly linked to their ‘Age’ and nothing else. The study took the specific time of United States Presidential elections in 2016 as their time of case study. These kinds of studies will further help in addressing the spread in a holistic and cautious way.
During the study, 3,500 are gathered in for the survey process which contains both users and non-users of Facebook. They were asked to download a sharing app through which their interests were monitored. They researchers checked and cross-checked all the news that was being shared by these 3,500.
Considering all the ages at once, only 8.5 per cent of FB users shared at least one fake news. Separating them by age groups, 11% of People above 65 years of age shared fake news. And only about 3 per cent of people from 18 to 29 years of age shared false news.
The other older age group of people between 45 yrs to 65 years of age, also shared a good number of hoaxes. Seven times as the younger generation was the number of false articles these have shared. The outcomes of these studies can be used to bring the needed awareness among the major groups in instigating a sense of ‘cross-checking before sharing’.
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