Individuals aged over 65 are more likely than youthful folks to share faux information on Fb, researchers say.
Their examine seemed on the behaviour of Fb customers earlier than and after the 2016 US presidential election.
It discovered age was a greater predictor of whether or not folks handed round hyperlinks to websites producing unfaithful tales than every other attribute.
However, it stated, solely eight.5% of individuals shared any tales generated by faux information websites.
The three,500 folks studied had been recruited previous to the 2016 election and about half of them agreed to put in an app that gathered data from their Fb profile and logged what they shared.
It discovered that simply over 11% of individuals aged 65 or over shared hyperlinks to faux tales. In contrast, solely three% of these aged 18-29 actively handed on comparable hyperlinks.
“No different demographic attribute we examined – gender, revenue, training – had any constant relationship with the chance of sharing faux information,” wrote the paper’s authors in a report revealed within the Washington Publish.
As well as, suggests the examine, pro-Trump republicans had been extra probably (18%) to share hyperlinks than those that recognized as Democrats (three.5%).
The researchers, from New York College and Princeton, didn’t draw conclusions about why older folks had been extra prone to direct their Fb buddies to faux information websites.
They speculated that digital illiteracy amongst older folks stopped them recognizing the indicators of bogus information gadgets or, they recommended, it might be linked to age-related cognitive decline, which made them simpler to idiot.
Though the numbers of hyperlinks being shared had been small, they might have a big influence, stated the researchers, as a result of much more folks learn faux information than handed it on.
Separate analysis they cited recommended as much as 25% of Individuals learn faux information tales from many alternative sources within the run-up to the 2016 vote.
The researchers recommended utilizing training initiatives and on-line interventions to assist folks of all ages spot dodgy information tales.