Research Report

Social Media and Political Polarization

By many measures, Americans have become increasingly politically polarized in recent decades. Many authors attribute this trend, in part, to the rise of social media and the Internet. However, what do we really know about the role of digital media in driving this trend? This report summarizes some of the latest research on digital media and, more specifically, the role of social media for political polarization. In addition, the author analyzes how the development of the political polarization is related to news consumption via Internet and social media using data from the American National Election Study.

Author

Matthew Gentzkow, Professor of Economics, Stanford University.