If you’re older or a Republican, you’re more likely to share fake news on Facebook:
Across all age categories, sharing fake news was a relatively rare category. Only 8.5 percent of users in the study shared at least one link from a fake news site. Users who identified as conservative were more likely than users who identified as liberal to share fake news: 18 percent of Republicans shared links to fake news sites, compared to less than 4 percent of Democrats. The researchers attributed this finding largely to studies showing that in 2016, fake news overwhelmingly served to promote Trump’s candidacy.
But older users skewed the findings: 11 percent of users older than 65 shared a hoax, while just 3 percent of users 18 to 29 did. Facebook users ages 65 and older shared more than twice as many fake news articles than the next-oldest age group of 45 to 65, and nearly seven times as many fake news articles as the youngest age group (18 to 29).
The party finding was influenced by all of the Russian fake news surrounding the Trump campaign. The age finding was independent of party affiliation. It’s not surprising since older people grew up in an environment where news on the TV or in newspapers was generally factual, so that assumption is still baked in to their thinking, even though the world has changed drastically.