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Over-65s Spread The Most Fake News During 2016 Election: Study

Newsweek reports age was a key factor in the spread of so-called “fake news” across social media in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election, according to a new study about misinformation on Facebook. Americans over the age of 65, academics reported Wednesday in the journal Science Advances, shared fake news—false information packaged like a legitimate news article—more often than any other age group. Researchers from Princeton University, New Jersey, and New York University, tallied up article “shares” on the Facebook profiles of more than 1,300 respondents. They marked out articles published on “fake news” domains—working from a list adapted from a Buzzfeed article by Craig Silverman and other sources—and analyzed who was sharing them. The authors found that 8.5 percent of the accounts they examined had shared fake news, an “overwhelming” amount of which supported now-President Donald Trump. The researchers called fake news spreading “a relatively rare activity.”  

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