Thursday, April 20, 2017
Study suggests social media are not contributing to political polarization.
Bromwich does an interesting piece on increasing political polarization in the US. The number of the 435 house districts in the country competitive for both parties has decreased from 90 to 72 over the past four years. It has been commonly assumed that internet social media are a major culprit driving polarization, because they make it easier for people to remain in their own tribal bubbles. The problem with this model is that the increase in political polarization has been seven times higher among older Americans (who are least likely to use the internet) than among adults under 40 (see Boxell et al.). An explanatory factor has to make sense equally across demographics.