Facebook Bias Based On Age Rife, Study Finds


facebook's memory seniors

Facebook bias is a major issue for older users, a new study found, as social media does seem in ways to favor the young. (Don’t tell George Takei’s trillion fans that, though.)

Facebook bias is a frequently considered issue when it comes to politics, but age is another place where users tend to openly bully others who are on the site, according to a new Facebook study on the matter.

Social media is definitely a domain for the young predominantly, but not exclusively. And it seems that Yale researchers revealed how such a stacked deck can lead to some “hate speech” directed at olds using the social network among a horde of younger users.

One post discussing the Yale study of Facebook bias based on age indicates that comments indicating senior citizens should “face a firing squad” turned up in the research, and Becca Levy, associate professor at the Yale School of Public Health, noted again that “in some cases, executing the aged was proposed.”

Levy and her colleagues noted that in one-third of ageist pages examined, the “banning older people from public activities including driving and shopping” were proposed, and she said:

Facebook has the potential to create new connections between the generations … Instead, it may have created new obstacles.

HuffPo paraphrased a Facebook spokesperson:

A Facebook spokesman said the company had not yet seen the research, but noted that as of February 2012, one-third (34 percent) of Internet users age 65 and older use social networking sites such as Facebook, and 18 percent do so on a typical day. The spokesman directed Huffington Post to a University of Arizona study that foundusing Facebook could improve the memory of people 65 and older as well as help them feel more socially connected.

The study was the first to look at Facebook bias against older users.


Kim LaCapria

Kim LaCapria is a social media enthusiast, long-time Inquisitr.com writer and beauty and lifestyle industry expert. She covers a wide range of social media topics, with a particular interest in style-related apps and services. When not working, Kim can be found on Facebook and Pinterest, skating, and sneaking off to Spa Castle.

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