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Is Social Media Fueling Polarization in Politics?

Is social media and the Internet leading the polarization of politics?

In contrast to observations that social media will deepen political polarization by sharing ideas and allegations among close people and further strengthening ‘partisan views’, political polarization in older people who are less exposed to social media or the Internet is getting bigger The research results came out.

According to the New York Times, the Internet is a political polarization in a joint research team at Stanford University and Brown University that was published last month by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), a leading US private economic research organization. “Demographic evidence” quoted a report as saying that political polarization was the most intense in older people who rarely used the Internet.

The researchers measured the polarization polarization index for the period 1996 to 2012 by combining the nine items, and found that the polarization index increased significantly in the elderly over 75 years of age, Compared to 1996, the polarization index rose 0.18 points in 2012, rising 0.38 points for seniors over 75 years old and 0.05 point for 18-39 year olds. The report co-author Jesse Shapiro, a professor of economics at Brown University, said, “I am having a difficult time explaining the fact that people are consuming online media and that polarization is intensifying.” But the results were unlikely to change. “Digital media has played a little role, but it is not the main culprit behind the big changes we’re seeing,” he said.

The Democratic and Republican parties are only competing in 72 of the 435 Congressional districts in the U.S. congressional district, while the other electoral districts are partisan. This is a 20% decrease from 90 sites four years ago. The co-author of the report, Matthew Gentzkow, cited structural factors such as income inequality, non-digital media such as cable television and radio talk show programs as the cause of deepening political polarization.

In last year’s US presidential election, 40 percent of Donald Trump’s supporters got news from right-wing Fox News, while only 3 percent of Hillary Clinton’s supporters got news from the media. Extreme broadcast moderators such as Rush Limbo target older people.

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