CHINA Chinese seniors easy victims of fake online news: statistics

CHINA

Chinese seniors easy victims of fake online news: statistics

Xinhua

22:47, October 21, 2018

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Elderly people look at their smart mobile phones at a bus shelter in Ningbo, Zhejiang Province, August 17, 2018. (File photo: VCG)

XIAMEN, Oct. 21 (Xinhua) -- Senior citizens are easy victims of false internet-based rumors in China, latest statistics show.

According to figures released by popular messaging tool WeChat, of those most likely to fall into the trap of rumormongering, 43.5 percent are above the age of 50.

As of September, WeChat had a whopping 61 million users between the ages of 55 and 70. WeChat said that as China's mobile internet develops, the growing aging population, many of whom lack the ability to distinguish fake news from genuine news, are easily falling prey to rumors and unknowingly helping to spread them.

WeChat released an embedded application to fight rumormongering within the messaging tool in 2017. If certain articles prove to be fake, users who read or share the articles are now notified.

China's population is aging rapidly. The number of people aged 60 or above had reached 241 million by the end of 2017, accounting for 17.3 percent of the total population. The number is expected to peak at 487 million around 2050, accounting for a third of the total population by then, according to the Office of the National Working Commission on Aging.

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