Belmont University Research Symposium (BURS)


The Influence of Social Media on Political Polarization

Publication Date

Spring 2022


Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, College of


Political Science, Department of

BURS Faculty Advisor

Dr. Nathan Griffith

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation


Social media has been widely regarded as a significant contributor to the rising political polarization levels found in our society. Scholars find that it exacerbates political polarization by reinforcing existing beliefs. Furthermore, specific mechanisms of social media have been attributed to influencing the levels of political polarization.

My study focuses on determining which of the common features exacerbates political polarization the most. The three mechanisms of social media platforms I study are echo chambers, selective exposure, and filter bubbles. I study three popular social media platforms; each of the three platforms serves as a proxy for one of the three mechanisms. All three features are designed to reinforce existing beliefs, however, all three of them reinforce benefits differently and at varying levels.

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