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Facebook gets involved in Scotland’s independence debate with new feature

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Facebook gets involved in Scotland’s independence debate with new feature

Those who are over 16 and intend to vote in next month’s Scottish Independence Referendum can announce their intentions on social media site Facebook, with the company adding a new facility designed for voters.

The tool will allow users to add a ‘life event’ to their profiles announcing the fact that they are ‘registered to vote’. Those who decide to utilise the function will see a status update generated from the action, which could then appear in others’ newsfeeds.

The social platform believes that the move will create an increased level of awareness of the voter registration processes. News suppliers have been informed that this is part of a larger campaign with which the firm is involved, familiarising users with the Electoral Commission and the need to register.

Scottish people who visit the networking site in upcoming weeks will also notice posts appearing in their newsfeeds that promote an interactive Referendum guide, which has been launched by the Electoral Commission. This guide is also being sent to millions of homes to give people facts and information about the process of casting their vote.

This is not the first time the social network has got involved with elections; it utilised an ‘I’m a voter’ feature earlier this year in Indian elections and in prior US ballots, whereby users announced that they have voted, again to raise awareness of the importance of the democratic process. Facebook intends to introduce the facility to other nations in the future.

Alan Littler

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