Date of this Version



Dr. Peter Miller, PhD


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


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


To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.