Fake News

Goals

To obtain information on the demographics that are most influenced/impacted by "fake news", those that that care the most about "fake news" and those that are actively seeking solutions for how to measure "fake news."



Early Findings

  • According to industry sources, social media has intensified the impact that fake news has on people.
  • Study findings reveal that young people are more receptive and react more emotionally to negative political news on social media.
  • Research also shows that older people are four times more likely to share fake news on social media, and thios could be linked to their inability to discern fake news from factual news.
  • A study conducted by a group of students from Colorado State University found that age, education, sex, and political affiliation predict understanding of “fake news” and satire.
  • A Princeton University study also found that individuals who are 65 years and older are times more likely to share fake news than those aged 18-29.
  • According to the authors of the study, “it is possible that an entire cohort of Americans, now in their 60s and beyond, lacks the level of digital media literacy necessary to reliably determine the trustworthiness of news encountered online.”
  • Findings also reveal that 82% of Americans say they are concerned about fake news and its impact on the credibility of real news and information, with 47% saying they are “very” concerned.
  • The high level of concern is common to both genders and increases with age.
  • Demographically, the most likely to be concerned are the oldest cohorts in America, the urbanites and suburbanites, and college-educated Americans.
  • The view that fake news causes incivility in America is consistent across gender and generation. They believe fake news stirs up emotions such as anger, confusion, anxiety and disengagement, all leading to greater incivility and polarization.

Proposed next steps:

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As the initial research only touched on a few insights on the relationship between demographic factors and fake news, we recommend One: Further research to identify and detail 3-5 insights (including quantitative data as available) into what demographic(s) are most influenced/impacted by factors. Insights should include how the impact/influence of fake news differ by gender, age, education level, etc. Two: identify and detail 3-5 insights into what demographics care the most or are concerned about fake news and specify those that are actively seeking solutions for how to measure fake news.
We could also proceed to identify and detail 3-5 insights into the level of awareness of fake news and its impact, e.g insights into how many Americans, or percentage of population have been affected by, or experienced fake news.