“You’ve probably come across a piece of bad information online, and you might not even know it. The virus was not created in a lab as a bioweapon, for instance, and inhaling hot air from a hair dryer is not a cure.
“Experts say this outbreak may be the biggest source of Internet misinformation … ever.
by Amy Yee
‘Online misinformation is a serious threat, from fake cures for COVID-19 to false information on voting eligibility.
“Seniors are especially at risk. People over 65 were more likely to share false or misleading content on Facebook during the 2016 presidential campaign, according to one study from researchers at Princeton and New York University. Older adults were also exposed to more misinformation on Twitter during that election.
“Seniors should learn about avoiding misinformation — to protect themselves, and because they are civically active. Over half of poll workers were ages 61 and older in the 2018 U.S. general election, according to Pew Research Center. And older voters in the U.S. are also consistently more likely to vote than younger groups.
“A scientific study published in the journal Nature in March 2021 found that many people shared misinformation on social media because they did not pay close attention to the content. They were less likely to share misinformation after being asked to assess the accuracy of news headlines. Simply taking more time to evaluate sources can go a long way.”