Older doesn’t mean wiser when it comes to fake news

The World Today
Published 8 February 2019 Updated 9 November 2020 2 minute READ

Thomas Ringheim

Former Editorial Assistant, The World Today

The sources of ‘fake news’ have been much studied since the British referendum on leaving the European Union and the US election that brought Donald Trump to power.

Researchers from New York University and Princeton have now crunched the numbers of Americans who shared fake news in the run up to the 2016 presidential election and come up with some surprising conclusions.

The research, published in the peer-reviewed journal Science Advances, found that those who identified themselves as ‘conservative’ or ‘very conservative’ were the most likely to share content from fake news sources. This is to be expected, given that the vast majority of fake news came from conservative, pro-Trump sources.

While conservatives shared more fake news links than liberals, and Republicans more than Democrats, the best predictor of who shares fake news online is not your political party, it is your age.

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