Date of this Version

2015

Advisor

Dr. Peter Miller, PhD

Keywords

online news consumption, political polarization, social media, social networks, gatekeepers

Abstract

This paper examines the effect that the Internet and online news consumption has had on American society. It looks first at the number and types of people who use the Web. These are the individuals liable to be impacted by online news consumption. The study then looks at the factors that control Internet users’ acquisition of information. These gatekeepers, as they are referred to here, play a role in determining the impact of online news consumption. At last, the study examines what exactly this effect is, showing that homophilous social networks and incivility online have limited the capacity for serious democratic deliberation and contributed to political polarization.

 

Date Posted: 29 February 2016

 

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