USF St. Petersburg campus Honors Program Theses (Undergraduate)


Mark Traester

First Advisor

Thesis Director: Dr; Thomas Smith, Ph.D. Director, Honors College


University of South Florida at St. Petersburg



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Social media has exploded in importance and power over a very short period of time, faster than people and policy can keep up. As a result, social media has been a battleground of business and political interests that have changed and adapted so quickly that policy makers are unable to maintain the pace. This veritable wild west of communication has led to a variety of issues with no clear solutions, and even as ideas are put forward these are quickly made irrelevant by the next innovation or strategy that inevitably pops up. These issues range from social media companies generating ideological bubbles in their pursuit of building a superior product, fringe political forces adapting and making use of the internet in their struggles to both be heard and to stop their ideological rivals from being heard, to the government trying to adapt law and policy to new Constitutional issues that are arising. This paper will examine these issues and consider their complexities, while suggesting and identifying flexible solutions that recognize the ever-changing nature of the question at hand.

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