Seniors : first Fake news relayers
The Internet and in particular social networks are full of information, especially about current events. However, you can’t always rely on what you can see on it. And while young Internet users remain sensitive to the fact that we cannot believe every piece of information, an American study reveals that seniors, for their part, remain the first to republish Fake news.
On January 9, the American magazine “Science mag” published a study that shows that people over 65 share 7 times more false information than younger users of social media. The first explanation comes from the fact that seniors, who are more used to newspapers, have a harder time identifying information from reliable sources on social networks. And this because these people do not always check the sources of the information they share.
Fake news is false information that circulates on the Internet for a specific purpose. Indeed, we can measure the extent of this phenomenon back during the American elections of 2016, where we suspect the Fake news has influenced the election of Donald Trump.
Facing this phenomenon, people on the Internet had to take drastic measures. In 2016, Facebook deleted nearly 30,000 Fake News accounts, all in an effort to stop the medias that were spreading these lies. Twitter, for its part, has identified nearly 50,000 bots attached to the Russian government and relaying false information, with the aim of influencing the 2016 American presidential elections.
This phenomenon is a real threat and it is more than necessary to remain very attentive to what can be read on social networks, it would also be important to raise awareness among the less experienced people and teach them to remain vigilant.
It is therefore wise to ask yourself some questions in order to identify misinformation. Is the source of the information reliable? Is this source neutral? Does it have any interest in relaying false information?
What must be remembered is that the greater impact that Fake news has on seniors compared to the youngest age group is due to the digital “ability” gap between the different generations. The 20-30 year old portion was born with this technology and is called “digital native”, that explains that they can identify what is true or false easily. Senior citizens therefore still need to adapt to these new networks, which relay information that is not always very reliable but nonetheless seem to be.