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Stop ranting to your friends — Facebook now lets you ‘tag’ your local politicians

Facebook Pages
Marcel De Grijs / 123RF
Facebook political rants are getting a bit fancier — now users can add a button for followers to easily find a politician’s contact information.

Facebook appears to be testing the feature, first spotted by TechCrunch, which uses location data to tag local politicians. On personal profiles and some public pages, the feature appears under the “doing/feeling” options, then under “contacting,” while some public pages have a shortcut dedicated to adding government contact information. Once inside the contacting option, users can tag government organizations, government officials, or public figures.

Profiles associated with a location will automatically bring up the appropriate representative after clicking on the United States Senate or United States House of Representatives. Tagging a specific politician will include either the direct contact information or a link to that figure’s page.

If users tag a group instead of a specific politician, such as the Senate or House of Representatives, a “Find Your Reps” button will appear on the status, allowing users to type in their address to find the representative for the area. On Facebook’s Town Hall page, users can then click to follow or contact that politician via phone, snail mail, email or Facebook message.

While using the “contacting” tag doesn’t appear to send a notification to that politician’s contact page, the feature, by putting political contact information a click away, could encourage users to do more than just send out a rant to their followers.

The feature expands the Town Hall platform Facebook launched this spring that allows users to search for their local representatives. When the feature first launched in March, users that liked or commented on a post by a political figure would see quick contact information. After clicking on that contact information, those details could be shared as a status update. Now, the feature doesn’t require first interacting with a political page, but is accessible from a status update by using the “doing/feeling” options.

Without an official update from Facebook, it’s unclear if the feature is currently rolling out to all users or if it is being tested with a select group or region.

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