Fake news has been linked to extremist politics, social division, mob violence and crime.
A new study found that Facebook users over the age of 65 are far more likely to share fake news than younger users.
The reasons for this include a lack of digital media literacy by people who didn’t grow up with the internet and age-related cognitive decline.
China’s WeChat found similar results on that network and also concluded that country folk are more likely to share fake news than city slickers.
The Russian government, widely considered the largest and most sophisticated state sponsor of fake news and disinformation, itself passed a bill to ban what it called fake news this month.
In an apparently unrelated move, The New York Times reported Friday that Facebook plans to integrate Facebook Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp so that encrypted messages can be sent between users on the different platforms.