Date of Award

Spring 2022

Thesis Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Honors Bachelor of Arts


Political Science


Benjamin Balak

Committee Member

Pavielle Haines

Committee Member

Chuck Archard


Ideological and affective polarization across party lines has grown significantly in the United States in the past several decades. It has hit a high point in the years since President Donald Trump’s election. At the same time, citizens who identify as conservative, Republican, or libertarian have expressed concerns over a perceived increase in social media censorship of their ideas. Whether real or perceived, the fear of censorship has directly contributed to a vicious cycle of political antagonism: those who feel censored (most likely to identify as right-leaning) blame members of the other party (who are often assumed to be left-leaning) for suppressing them, which angers those people and causes even further antagonism between more extreme members of each side. By examining ten case studies in three countries, this paper will demonstrate that governments and other entities which engage in censorship cause an increase in political polarization between their citizens.

Rights Holder

Sofia Frasz