‘FAKE NEWS’ AFFECTS SOME MORE THAN OTHERS
Currently, the phrase ‘fake news‘ is a part of our every day vocabulary. The younger generation is actually using these words as slang, like when a friend is exaggerating a story, or they do not believe that what gossip of the day is true, they call it ‘Fake News’. Recent studies have shown though that real ‘Fake News’ populated all over the internet and specifically on social media is affecting those over the age of 65 more than any other age group. This age group is sharing most of the fake news with their friends.
Princeton and New York Universities recently did a study that showed older people, specifically baby boomers, are sharing more fake news across social media and it crosses political party lines. This finding is harmful to the state of the country and could aid social media platforms in developing ways that could aid in assisting the older generation from being misled so easily.
YouGov, a research firm, assembled a group of people to study during the 2016 election. This panel included people who use Facebook and those that do not. After the election the Facebook users were asked to install an app on their phone that would allow them to share their data on their news feed, religious posts, and personal data with YouGov to conduct the study. 49% of the people opted in to allow the study of their data to take place.
THE AGE DIFFERENCE
Links to domains that were shared by these users were compared to sites that are known for posting exaggerated data or untrue news. Across all age groups sharing of ‘fake news’ was rarely seen. As a matter of fact it was below 10%. Then, when diving even further YouGov found that those above 65 actually skewed the numbers as 11% of this age group shared a hoax, and they also shared double the amount of fake news as those that fell in the next age group which was ages 45-65.
It is clear that journalism is not what it used to be, and that stories that are not real are considered correct if read by some. The older generation arrived on the internet scene a lot later than most and need education on how to decipher fact from fiction in this new world of digital journalism.