Fake news is a problem and many social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter are working on ways to try and curb it. There are also initiatives taken on by schools that aim to teach kids how to determine if a source is fake news and which isn’t, but it seems that maybe we should be looking at educating the elderly as well.


According to a recent study that was published in Science Advances (via NY Times), it was found that the majority of fake news that is being shared on the internet are usually by those who are aged 65 and older. Apparently this age group tends to share fake news seven times more than those who are aged 29 years and younger, and this was true regardless of ideology, education level, or political affiliation.

One of the study’s co-author Andrew Guess, a political scientist at Princeton University, told The Verge, “When we bring up the age finding, a lot of people say, ‘oh yeah, that’s obvious.’ For me, what is pretty striking is that the relationship holds even when you control for party affiliation or ideology. The fact that it’s independent of these other traits is pretty surprising to me. It’s not just being driven by older people being more conservative.”

While the study doesn’t actually say why older people might be more likely to share fake news than others, it has been speculated that the lack of digital literacy skills compared to those brought up around computers could be one of the reasons why.

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