People are more engaged on Facebook as they get older, especially in politics: evidence from users in 46 countries
Keywords:older adults, social media, Facebook
A growing body of literature has noted an age pattern in the sharing of false news in social media, with older people sharing more often misinformation than younger users. In this article we supplement this literature by documenting two distinct but complementary phenomena: Facebook users share more content as they get older regardless of whether it is political; and that this increment in sharing activity as age increases is more intense with political and partisan URLs. Based on the Facebook Privacy-Protected Full URLs Data Set, a vast Facebook database with demographic information of those who saw and shared links on Facebook in 46 countries, we investigate the impact of age on link-sharing activity. We found that in 43 countries, the average age of people who shared links was considerably higher than the age of those who saw the links. In a more detailed study, with Facebook users in South America, we find that the average age increases consecutively in the sharing of non-political content, in the sharing of political content, in the sharing of partisan sites and in the sharing of right-leaning partisan sites.
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Copyright (c) 2022 Marcio Moretto, Pablo Ortellado, Gabriel Kessler, Gabriel Vommaro, Juan Carlos Rodriguez-Raga, Juan Pablo Luna, Eduarth Heinen, Laura Fernanda Cely, Sergio Toro
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.