I am researching how polarizing social media influencers use social media to attract and maintain support. For this research, I specifically focus on the influencer Andrew Tate, analyzing his TikTok performance to understand the relationship between him and his followers. I review past scholarly research on social media, influencers, polarization, cancel culture, free speech, and cultivation theory, which is the guiding theory of my research. The analysis of this utilizes a focus group methodology, specifically made up of Andrew Tate supporters on TikTok. I measured time of exposure to Tate, the content of messages, alignment with Tate, and various other factors that contribute to influencer/audience relationships. I end the research off by presenting three major findings: that influencer relatability, reinforcing an audience's world view, and perceived honesty of an influencer affect their ability to gain and maintain an audience base.


Bostdorff, Denise


Communication Studies


Arts and Humanities


Focus Group, Social Media, Polarization, TikTok, Influencer, Cancel Culture

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis


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