Study Says Baby Boomers Share More Fake News Articles Than Others
Not just more often, but nearly 7 times as frequently, especially on facebook. A recent study at Princeton and New York University says that people over 65 years old (the Baby Boomer Generation) were far more likely to share intentionally false or misleading information on facebook. This study is in contrast to every other group of adults.
"No other demographic characteristic seems to have a consistent effect on sharing fake news, making our age finding that much more notable," wrote the authors of the study, which was published in Science Advances on Thursday.
Researchers sampled a size of 3500 people with the goal of seeing which aspects lead to sharing more disinformation on Facebook, primarily around the 2016 Presidential Election. Researchers defined "fake news" as "knowingly false or misleading content created largely for the purpose of generating ad revenue." Many of these articles were centered around the divide between political parties, outrageous claims about the other side, and unbelievable claims.
Luckily, the study also uncovered that sharing of so-called Fake News is actually much more rare than was previously thought. The study's authors also said more context was needed, since the oldest generation may not have a "level of digital media literacy necessary to reliably determine the trustworthiness of news encountered online."