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Over 65s share the most fake news

A new study by New York and Princeton Universities in the United States has found that older users shared more fake news on Facebook than younger users, regardless of education, sex, race, income or how many links they shared. Infact, the data was so strong, age predicted their behavior better than any other characteristic.

During the 2016 American presidential election, 11 per cent of users aged 65 and over shared a hoax (fake news) story on Facebook compared with just three per cent of users aged 18 to 29. Infact, the 65 and over age group shared more than twice as many fake news articles than the next-oldest age group of 45 to 65.

Why do you think over 65s are more likely to believe fake news stories than any other age group?

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24 comments

 

Well done, Drew. You post a fake news article and then ask people to comment on the statistics generated by the fake news article. This has been around before and the key is the suggestion that there is an app that can isolate bits and pieces of Facebook whilst eliciting the information relevant to the debate. It can't be done.

What does 'infact' mean?

It is simply a typographical error. Type 'in', and miss hitting the space bar, then type 'fact'.

A simple mistake, all people make them you know.

In fact that is all it is. Nothing sinister.

Have a greatday. There yougo another typo. Or two.

I recall many many years ago my father told me that when he was 18 he knew everything, by the time he reached his 30s he still knew almost everything, then he reached his 50s and realised he didn’t actually know everything but he considered himself well informed, he was an avid reader and up to date with the latest news, in his 60s he started having serious doubts about everything he had learned from the media, in his 70s he realised he knew nothing 95% of what he read in the media was fictional as was most of what he watched on tv, and that was in the days before the media moguls held control. You can usually tell which demographic people come from by their comments, so I think we can almost guarantee that most news is fake news depending in which demographic you are in will dictate which news you decide to share, age doesn’t come into it, you will share whatever supports your view, bias included.

On November 16th, just after the US election, researchers at New York and Princeton Universities asked Facebook users on the panel of 3,500 people (which included both Facebook users and non-users) to install an application that blah, blah, blah ... see Drew's link. About 49% of study participants who used Facebook agreed to share their profile data.

Only 8.5 percent of users in the study shared at least one link from a fake news site. Across all age categories, sharing fake news was a relatively rare category.

Therefore, from my reading, 91.5% DIDN'T share fake news, not even 1 link.

Is this much ado about little?

Think Jim summed it up with for me with '... you will share whatever supports your view, bias included.'

:) A little like most pollies and various media outlets as well IMO.

Maybe older folk have more time to 'peruse the online news', the younger ones I know are too busy and couldn't be bothered or just find daily news items boring. Just my personal experience, others here may have different experiences.

'False' news is the shrub concealing the forest behind.  Political interests are ruthlessly exploiting the cognitive biases, the thinking short-cuts, that make us human.  But then we do it to ourselves too. 

The University of Queensland has a short, free, online course on thinking that is winning international acclaim,  

"The Science of Everyday Thinking"

 

LJ,

Thank you for the link. I think some would enjoy it.

I believe Drew's article relates more to the US, than Australia.

I tend to view news with some skepticism until it is verified elsewhere. 

Also, what passes for "news" is awful.  How often do we really receive news of any import?

Fake news depends on which side you are on - if in US, Fox News and CNN hate each other and it's getting easier to understand how fake news came about, America has been full of it for years.  In Oz, we have a similar problem, the left push news to promote their cause and so does the right.  I wonder how many voters still cling to their hard line upbringing of their ancestors - the working man for Labor and the perceived rich on the right, taking advantage of the poor.  Somehow we have to sort out the difference and vote for what's best for the country.   

We need our news media to alert us to what is happening in our country and world . We would be lost without it. Personally, I think a lot of journalists are ethical and committed to revealing truth whenever they can. I’m not talking about “opinion pieces”, I’m talking about news. I have a few favoured sources of news that I trust - the ABC is one source. They are all that is necessary to keep oneself informed. Where do people go to read “fake news”? 

Sadly, I don't believe there is such a thing as a non-biased journalist, that's why we are where we are.  No idea.

I am more optimistic than you toot, about the ethics of good journalism. Where would we be without honest journalism? We would all know nothing about corrupt practices. Reminds me of the 1970’s when our supremely corrupt NSW state premier, Robert Askin got away with so much corrupt practice, including big question marks over what he had to do with the murder of Juanita Neilson. Only underground journalists could report on the true facts of the case at the time and some of them went to the UK because they feared for their own lives. We need honest journalism to know truth about political behaviour. Without it we are kept naive. That is not a good thing!.... for us or society at whole.

ALL news is fake news including the mainstream ones!

I know so since the age of 20 when I was interviewed by a newspaper reporter and half of it was twisted and distorted to make it sound more sensational!

Much of the non mainstream news has more facts than the mainstream news which has long been known to be mainly Marxist Socialist in orientation and I have met quite a number of journalists who are alcoholic sponges!

Non mainstream news has as result been scoffed at very unfairly and I would say that it's the over 65's who have lived longer and are wiser and more discerning and discriminating as to the real underlying facts whereas the youngies are very naive and gullible and easily sucked in by anything that seems 'cool' by the leftist media 

Oh, so the youngies are not sucked in by the right wing media Mez? I wonder why?

Tisany 2019,

You may not have had much exposure to teens and young adults.  Mez is on firm ground if she is saying that late adolescents and young adults are idealistic and impressionable.  Here is a useful article [click for link]

 

Certainly, not all news is reported accurately.  There is bias.

Freelance journalists always check the policy of the media, before they submit articles.

Except for SBS, our TV outlets receive already edited footage from overseas.  SBS use spray footage.

Advertisers have enormous clout on what can be presented in the media.  Some years ago a US media print mounted an indepth study of  companies causing pollution.  One of their advertisers was found to be the worst offender.  The story was pulled .. never to see the light of day.

Photographs can be cropped to present an entirely different "truth" than actually occurring. All media has a "morgue" ... from which a photograph can be dredged, which has no relevance to the actual story.

As already been mentioned, those being interviewed can be misquoted, or their comments presented out of context.

There are a number of sites to veryify overseas news, or at least obtain the other side of the issue.

In today's world, if a particular issue concerns one, it is best to obtain information from differing sources.

 

 

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