In the days leading up to November 3rd, many popular social media apps are using their platforms to reach voters across the nation. While political misinformation and confusion is inevitable, these industry giants are doing everything they can to promote legitimacy and boost participation in this year’s election.
Facebook, Inc., which also owns Instagram, has made significant investments in encouraging voter participation while also working to decrease misinformation on their apps. They launched the Voting Information Center, which provides accurate voter information and news at the top of the Facebook and Instagram newsfeeds. Since its launch, the voting center has received an incredible amount of traction. To date, 39 million people have visited the Voting Information Center.
Facebook has also launched the #PledgeToVoteChallenge, encouraging users to post their voting plan and tag their friends. Both Instagram and Facebook have launched new voting stickers and GIFs for stories as well.
With over 100 million US users, TikTok has become the newest social media craze. In August, the company announced new measures to “combat misinformation, disinformation, and other content that may be designed to disrupt the 2020 election.” The app has recently launched an option for users to report inaccurate election news and has teamed up with the Department of Homeland security to help prevent foreign influence on the election. The app continues to regularly monitor and take down any content that threatens to disrupt the 2020 election.
Twitter has recently updated its Civic Integrity Policy to ensure that its users are sharing accurate information. The company will be monitoring content on and after election day, and plans to remove any claims of victory before the results are official. The social media channel will also attach a warning label to any potential false information or mischaracterization of candidates.
Snapchat is encouraging its young audience to register to vote directly through their app. The company relaunched the ‘Voter Registration Mini’ feature that they used in 2018, The app also provides a guide instructing voters on how to vote by mail, cast a ballot, and register. The guide includes resources from a variety of activist groups such as NAACP, ACLU, BallotReady, When We All Vote, and others.
The app also launched a voter checklist, where users can go through the voting process step-by-step to assure that everything is done correctly. The checklist has helped 1 million users register to vote.
Social media has the opportunity to reach and impact millions of voters across the nation. From flagging inaccurate content, to promoting voter registration, these technology giants are doing their part to help facilitate more participation in the 2020 Presidential Election.