Nobody is free to share a false news. The popularization of “fake news” in social networks is a reality against which the major Internet companies, especially in recent months, and to which the best weapon is common sense, prudence and trust in sources reliable information.
A study of that of Princeton University and the University of New York (in the United States) has analyzed the way in which Facebook users share news. It focused on the period of the presidential elections of the United States in 2016, precisely those that brought Donald Trump to power, and for its elaboration the behavior of more than 1,300 Facebook users has been taken into account.
“8.5% of Facebook users share false news.”
The analysis has been published for the first time this week in the journal Science Advances and its conclusions are interesting. The report states that 8.5% of Facebook users spread false news during that period, which is a not too high percentage, but it is worrisome.
What is most striking, going deeper into statistics, is that older users are more likely to consider a false story as true and spread it.
According to the report, 11% of people over 65 shared “fake news” during the period analyzed, while among the youngest users of the social network -between 18 and 29 years old- the percentage was much lower, from 3 %.
This means that older people share up to seven times more false news than young Facebook users. With this in mind, the social network should also review the measures it is implementing to combat fake news, because it may have to adopt specific actions with the older audience.
The political orientation of the participants was also taken into account in the study. As detailed in it, most of the false information that was shared in the social network during the period analyzed invited to support Donald Trump or to criticize Hillary Clinton.