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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A new study finds that fake news is not as prominent as you may think. Still, one group of Facebook users is far and away the most likely to share false information.
Researchers from New York University’s Social Media and Political Participation Lab and Princeton University found that people over the age of 65 are the most likely to spread fake news on Facebook.
Overall, the study found that only nine percent of the 1,300 participants shared fake news during the 2016 presidential election.
Three percent of people between the ages of 18 and 29 were found to have shared fake news. Eleven percent of people over the age of 65 fell for fake news. Overall, 1,300 individuals had their social media accounts monitored for the study.
“If seniors are more likely to share fake news than younger people, then there are important implications for how we might design interventions to reduce the spread of fake news,” said Andrew Guess, an assistant professor of politics and public affairs at Princeton University.
Interestingly, the study also found that Republicans were much more susceptible to spreading fake news. Eighteen percent of Republicans were found to share fake news, while just four percent of Democrats shared a fake news post.
However, the study argues that political ideology had nothing to do with susceptibility to fake news.
“This is consistent with the pro-Trump slant of most fake news articles produced during the 2016 campaign and of the tendency of respondents to share articles they agree with, and thus might not represent a greater tendency of conservatives to share fake news than liberals conditional on being exposed to it,” study officials say.