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Tumblr launches new Social Impact campaign ahead of 2016 election

For soon-to-be-former U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron, Tinder was a potential tool for reaching millennials ahead of the Brexit vote. It did not work, of course, but social media has begun to play an increasingly important role in the politics of the 21st century. The latest company to join the fray is Tumblr, which on Monday announced the beginning of its Social Impact campaign with a series of initiatives meant to engage and educate users on how to take action on issues surrounding the 2016 presidential election.

In a staff announcement, Tumblr noted, “The U.S. is going to hold an election in November, and the winner will (or won’t!) take up issues like gun violence prevention, criminal justice reform, women’s health and empowerment, and LGBTQ equality. Issues that are important to us. And, from what we can see, equally important to you.”

So over the course of the next several months, Tumblr will attempt to catalyze online conversation surrounding the key issues at stake in the upcoming presidential election, hoping to encourage the community to participate online and perhaps take action offline. Much of the campaign will center around an original programming feature known as IssueTime, similar to the site’s already popular AnswerTime, which will bring together “experts in a virtual panel to answer users’ questions about a pressing issue in current events.”

The premiere panel will boast such names as Freedom for All Americans’ chief program officer and director of its Transgender Freedom Project, Kasey Suffredini; trans blogger Monica Roberts; Transgender Law Center senior strategist Cecilia Chung; National Center for Transgender Equality executive director Mara Keisling; and senior creative director of SOZE, Daniel Alejandro Leon-Davis.

Moreover, Tumblr promises “media partnerships and collaborations with a number of advocacy and nonprofit organizations” that will provide insights into topics from gun violence to immigration reform to climate change. 

“We want our community to develop a true understanding of these increasingly significant issues, develop their own educated opinions and be motivated to exercise their right to vote on Election Day,” said Victoria McCullough, Tumblr’s social impact and public policy manager.