Undergraduate Honors Thesis


TikTok’s Impact On Political Polarization And Extremism Pipelines Among Young Adults In The US Public Deposited

  • his research investigates how political polarization, participation, and ideologies of college-age (18-26) students in the United States are affected by the social media platform TikTok.
    Preceding studies have found that social media does have the ability to increase political polarization and participation. Studies conducted on specific social media platforms have found mixed results on the ability of said platforms to increase political extremism. Previous research conducted on TikTok specifically has found a relationship between shifting political ideologies and the use of TikTok, however, whether these changes became more or less extreme was unclear in the research. This study was conducted using both data collected from an algorithm audit as well as original survey data. The data shows that TikTok feeds users more political content the more it is interacted with, with Republican content being shown almost 26% more than Democrat content. While the results of the survey suggest that the use of TikTok does have a positive relationship with voter turnout, these results were not statistically significant.However, it appears there is a clear relationship between the two. Additionally, the data indicate a significant correlation between large amounts of time spent on TikTok and holding extreme political beliefs.

Date Awarded
  • 2023-04-11
Academic Affiliation
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Granting Institution
Last Modified
  • 2023-04-19
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