Clicktivism has evolved into action.
According to election officials, Facebook has driven “substantial increases” in voter registration numbers the country over, and all it took was a 17-word reminder. Back in September, the social media giant began placing messages atop the News Feeds of users aged 18 and over, urging them to register online.
The message was simple — “Are you registered to vote? Register now to make sure you have a voice in the election,” the message read. Also attached to the reminder were two links: one to a federal directory of state voter registration websites, and the other inviting users to share that they’d already registered.
For four days, Facebook-ers across the nation saw the call to action, and as the New York Times reports, “at least nine secretaries of state have credited the social network’s voter registration reminder … with boosting sign-ups, in some cases by considerable amounts.”
Just call Facebook your third (and most influential) parent.
“Facebook clearly moved the needle in a significant way,” Alex Padilla, California’s secretary of state, said in an interview on Tuesday. In Padilla’s state alone, nearly 125,000 visited California’s online registry to on the first day Facebook launched the reminder. This represented the fourth-greatest number of registrations in a single day in the site’s history. And in Minnesota, Facebook helped break the state’s online voter registration record, with more people than ever before signing up to vote in a single week than ever before.
It’s worth noting that those who were motivated to sign up likely tended to lean Democratic, with Padilla pointing out, “It’s pretty clear that the Facebook reminder campaign disproportionately motivated young people to register.” Facebook also boasts more female than male users, which also will likely work in Hillary Clinton’s favor come November.
All the same, it’s the thought that counts, said Brian Kemp, Georgia’s secretary of state, who is a republican. In a statement given in September, Kemp said, “I applaud Facebook for joining our efforts to increase voter registration awareness.”