Facebook and Politics: While Facebook users have shared their political affiliations and opinions since the site’s inception, Facebook first began adding politicians to the site during the 2006 mid-term election. Today, more than 500 US politicians have Facebook Pages, where Facebook users can support candidates, learn more about them and communicate with them. These include all the major presidential candidates, most Members of Congress and many state governors. In November 2007, Facebook launched a partnership with ABC News for the 2008 presidential election – including a revamped US Politics application on Facebook and co-sponsorship of the televised debates ahead of the New Hampshire primary. This first-ever partnership seeks to empower voters with more information, both by bringing issues from the campaign trail to their lives in real-time and by surfacing the ideas and opinions of the people that matter to them the most. Together, ABC News and Facebook aim to mobilize active political engagement.
US Politics Application This application provides a forum for ongoing discussion about the election (Visit: www.facebook.com/politics ). Features include:
Debate Groups — an area where Facebook users can take a position and discuss their views on the campaign’s key issues
Politicians — access to politicians’ Facebook Pages and a view into the politicians a user and his or her friends support
Up-to-the-minute political news and video from the campaign trail reported by the ABC News political team
Dispatches from ABC News reporters assigned to the candidates
Facebook/ABC News Election Pulses – Facebook Polls about hot political topics as well as the latest Facebook supporter counts for each presidential candidate.
More than 1 million users have added the application and 300,000 have participated in at least one Debate Group. Popular groups covered issues including the role of faith in the presidency, a discussion of gender in the election, the electoral system and troop levels in Iraq.
ABC News/Facebook/WMUR Debates During the televised debates from ABC News, Facebook and WMUR, Facebook users will be able to participate in Debate Groups to express reactions to the candidates’ performance; post their thoughts on a live Soundboard; view behind-the-scenes videos, photos and notes posted by ABC News reporters at the debates; and review the results of Facebook Polls about various aspects of the presidential race.
The televised debates will draw on the activity taking place on Facebook during the analysis segments before, between and after the debates. ABC News correspondent Bianna Golodryga will report on the most interesting Debate Groups and user Soundboard submissions on Facebook. And moderator Charles Gibson will have access to the issues discussed on Facebook to use in forming his questions to the candidates during the debates.