Political conversation has always had a home on Facebook. The size and diversity of the platform offers a town square-like atmosphere where people gather to voice opinions, interact with other voters and easily engage with the leaders who make the decisions that affect their lives every day.
Today, people in the US on Facebook who are over 18 will see a message at the top of their News Feed reminding them that it’s Election Day and encouraging them to share with their friends that they’ve voted.
People can also click “More Information” to find their nearest polling place. This poll finder is powered by Gettothepolls.com, a joint effort of the Pew Charitable Trusts’ Voter Information Project and the Internet Association.
This is the fourth US Election Day megaphone – it was previously available for the 2008, 2010 and 2012 elections – and for the first time, it will be available in multiple languages including Spanish, Chinese and Korean. Which language the user sees will depend on the language preferences they have set on Facebook and their device.
2014 also marks the first year the megaphone was deployed for elections in countries outside the US, including India, Brazil and Indonesia.
We believe encouraging civic participation is an important contribution Facebook can make to the community, and the “I’m a Voter” message is designed to encourage people who are eligible to vote to turn out. In fact, a study in the journal Nature found that the megaphone has a real social multiplier effect and that in 2010, 340,000 additional people turned out at the polls after they saw on Facebook that friends had voted.
After clicking the “I’m a Voter” button today, people will also be able to visit a real-time heat map that shows where people on Facebook are voting throughout the country.
This map represents people who shared with their friends on Facebook that they’re voting in the 2014 US election. The information displayed here has been aggregated, and personal information, like names, have been removed. The shade of the map corresponds to the total amount of people who have shared that they’re voting, while the size of each burst represents sharing activity right now.