Social network plans to get us to the polling booths

Posted on May 6, 2015

 

Facebook is hoping that it can help to increase voter turnout in tomorrow’s general election with a special new button.

The “I’m a voter” tab will soon begin appearing on the news feeds of users who are eligible to cast their vote in the ballot, according to data held by the social firm.

Facebook believes that such an action may positively influence the decision of some people on the electoral roll to have their say in the parliamentary contest, as they will be able to see whether their friends have. This may then make them want to take part in the democratic process as well.

Previous studies conducted through the social platform have shown that Facebook is capable of positively influencing voter turnout numbers, much in the same way that it can help internet marketing specialists to reach a wider audience for their brand.

Such a button has been used in previous international ballots, including the Scottish referendum, contests for seats in the European Parliament, and U.S. elections. It was also used in last year’s Indian general election, when 4.3 million of the South Asian nation’s citizens took to Facebook to let people know that they had voted through the tab. This information was then readily available in the news feeds of 31 million other people in India, which may have convinced a number of them to cast their vote as well.

Meanwhile, Twitter teamed up with the Electoral Commission to remind people of the deadline for voter registration. With a record high number of people reportedly joining the electoral role in the hours before the deadline, it is possible that figures were boosted by this partnership.

When he’s not editing web copy and news articles at work, Web Content Editor Tom sates his love for the written word by losing himself in a good book.
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