Date of Award

Spring 5-12-2021

Document Type

Honors Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Communication and Digital Studies

Department Chair or Program Director

Rao, Anand

First Advisor

Crosby, Emily

Major or Concentration

Communication and Digital Studies


There is a gap in research about political discourse taking place on the social media platform TikTok. Traditionally, the public saw this platform as trivial and less important than other platforms because of its young user base. With the increase of political videos on this platform within the past few years, scholars are now beginning to observe this platform more seriously. This study aims to recognize how TikTok influences political discourse. A content analysis examined 500 videos under the hashtags, “politics” (10.0 B views), “conservative” (6.9 B views), “republican” (7.0 B views), “Trump” (7.2 B views) “democrat” (4.2 B views) and “leftist” (2.3 B views). The researcher made two accounts to engage with left-leaning and right-leaning videos separately. The results showed that creators on the platform made videos that lead to the further polarization of political parties. The results also suggest that TikTok’s algorithm creates online echo chambers, leading to users becoming radicalized on either side of the political spectrum.

Included in

Communication Commons