Facebook recently announced that it will be launching a new voting information center, which will be the largest voting informational campaign in American history. This voting information center will provide Americans accurate information on voting, tools they need to register and give them a voice. The goal is to help register 4 million voters this year using Facebook, Instagram and Messenger so they will go to the polls and vote.
Due to the current U.S. environment and effects from COVID-19, the process to register and vote are still unclear. To add to that, campaign rallies and candidate debates have been put on hold and have not been in the forefront of the news for some time, causing many U.S. citizens to lack knowledge about election issues and candidates.
One of the main goals of this effort is to prevent election interference and provide the people with clear, trusted and accurate information. Facebook will also be working with each state and other experts to ensure that the Voting Information Center accurately reflects the most recent updates within each state.
Beginning this summer, the Voting Information Center will live at the top of Facebook and Instagram feeds. They are expecting more than 160 million people in the U.S. to view this information leading up to the election in November.
Relating to the political environment on Facebook, another issue they are tackling is the quantity of political ads within the platform. In weeks to come, Facebook will roll out a feature that will enable users to turn off all social issue, electoral or political ads from candidates and other political organizations.
A few other steps the platform is taking to allow for more political transparency is to ensure that disclaimers will be included on any political ads, so users can see which candidates are paying for these ads. Facebook will also be allowing users insight into total ad spend by candidate to further their knowledge of the political landscape and inform their decisions on Election Day.
With all these updates, it will be interesting to see if the hateful and negative content remains in the space or if Facebook will step up and take bigger actions to prevent such content from living on the platform. The hope of this campaign is to have a positive effect on voting ─ to increase voter knowledge and increase voter participation in November.