CALIFORNIA, U.S. - With the anticipation of the upcoming elections gripping both the online and offline world - Facebook now has put in action plans that it believes will help U.S. citizens ...
• Facebook’s new feature is aimed at helping U.S. citizens decide who they want as their next president
• The feature will show users what’s on the ballot - from candidates to ballot initiatives
• Facebook has denied claims that it wants to interfere with voters’ choice
CALIFORNIA, U.S. - With the anticipation of the upcoming elections gripping both the online and offline world - Facebook now has put in action plans that it believes will help U.S. citizens decide who they want as their next President.
Making the announcement, Facebook said, “Today, we’re introducing a new feature that shows you what’s on the ballot — from candidates to ballot initiatives. How you vote is a personal matter, and we’ve taken steps to make sure that you have utmost control over your plan. After you make a selection, you have to choose who you want to be able to see it (“Only me” or “Friends”). For example, you may want to be private about your choice for president, but share with friends your pick for a congressional race or a ballot initiative.”
The plan will help users preview the races and the issues they care about, along with helping them learn about the positions of candidates on these issues. Users can reportedly also choose to email these choices to them, to refer at a later point.
Facebook said, “You can also add a candidate to your favorites to create your plan to bring with you on Election Day.”
Amidst claims that such a feature could be interpreted as Facebook’s interference in user’s choice - the social media giant said that its vote planner merely shows where candidates stand on the issues to help users make the right selection.
The feature is said to help address the possible lack of information related to members of Congress, state governors, as well as state and local officials - the sample ballots that only about 20 U.S. states mail out ahead of an election.
The social media giant said, “Thanks to data gathered from election officials by the nonpartisan Center for Technology and Civic Life (CTCL), we can present you with a preview of the ballot you’ll receive on November 8.”
Facebook’s product marketing manager, Jeremy Galen said, “We are encouraging civic engagement because we want to make it easier for people to participate and have a voice in the political process.”