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Older Americans, Republicans More Likely to Share Fake News, But Young Voters More Gullible, Study Finds

Rutgers scholar Katherine Ognyanova is available to comment on the latest survey data from The COVID-19 Consortium for Understanding the Public’s Policy Preferences Across States.

The researchers examined the tweets of 1.6 million registered U.S. voters to learn who is sharing COVID-19 fake news and what are they sharing. They found that:

  • Older people and Republicans are more likely to share URLs from fake news web domains.
  • Older voters share the most URLs per capita on the topic of COVID-19.
  • Younger people, regardless of political orientation, are more likely to believe one of 11 pieces of COVID-19 misinformation when compared to older people, suggesting that while older people share more misinformation, they are actually more informed.
  • The most shared fake news web domain is The Gateway Pundit, which received far more shares than the second most popular fake news domain.

To view the full report and findings, click here.

Katherine Ognyanova, an assistant professor at Rutgers’ School of Communication and Information, does research in network science, computational social science, social technology, media, civic and political communication.

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