April 14, 2017

Study finds Internet not to blame for polarization

Engadget - It's easy to blame social media for the rising political polarization in the US when you can use it to hide in a bubble of your own creation. Simply block people who don't share your viewpoint on Facebook and Twitter, and follow, Like and heart only people who do. According to a study conducted by economics professors from Stanford and Brown Universities, though, you can't blame it all on social media -- not when it's older Americans who barely use the internet who are becoming more polarized.

The professors used data gathered by the American National Election Survey from 1996 to 2012 on younger, more web-savvy voters aged 18 to 39 and voters 75 years and older. They compared nine different factors, including feelings about political parties, ideological consistency and straight-ticket voting. Take note that around 80 percent of the younger people in the study use social media, while only 20 percent of the older people do.

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