Impact of Twitter on Political Views
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In our contemporary time, social media provides a venue for an extension of our society and human experiences. As such, social media is conducive to political practices, including the mere dissemination of political discourse and information, but also an influence of political opinion. Evidence of this is seen in events like the Arab Spring and the 2016 U.S Presidential election. However, it remains to be seen how much influence social media has on one of it's largest consumers: the generation Z population. To assess social media's political influence on this collegiate-aged population, I have conducted a traditional experiment to investigate how and if Twitter has shaped discourse, viewpoints, and participation. I split participants into three groups: two treatment groups and one control group. One treatment group was exposed to viral political tweets, specifically not by journalists or politicians, but authored by average individuals whose tweets went viral. These tweets are "liberal" in that they discuss issues from the moderate to far left-wing perspective. The second treatment group was exposed only to neutral news tweets, such as those posted by the Associated Press. The objective is to see if exposure to these tweets shifted the participant's political views and/or motivated them to take political action. These findings are juxtaposed with the post-survey results of the participants from the control group and the neutral news group's, whose political views were hypothesized to remain comparatively stable.