Facebook Claims It Helped Register 4.4M People to Vote

Facebook said Monday that it has helped an estimated 4.4 million people register to vote for the upcoming U.S. presidential election on November 3, exceeding the tech giant’s goal of 4 million.

Facebook CEO and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg in June announced the company would launch a voting information center across its platforms, Facebook, Messenger and Instagram, with the aim of helping 4 million people to register to vote, according to The Hill.

“Today, we hit our goal,” Zuckerberg said in the post published about a week before Election Day.

“We estimate we’ve helped 4.4 million people register across our apps — based on conversion rates we calculated from states we’ve partnered with,” Zuckerberg added.

Facebook’s voter information center has been displaying what they judge as “reliable election information” at the top of its apps for users of voting age in the U.S., including key voter registration deadlines and information on how to vote by mail, Zuckerberg said. The tool also allows users to check their voter registration status.

In addition the company has also created an independent Oversight Board to remove certain posts and advertisements.

The social media giant’s initiative comes as Facebook is looking to avoid the intense scrutiny it faced over the spread of alleged Russian disinformation on its platform during the 2016 presidential election.

Earlier this month, the CEO and his wife, Priscilla Chan, said they would donate $100 million to local governments ahead of this election. Their latest $100 million donation is on top of a previous $300 million gift that will help with challenges related to the pandemic based on needs specified from election officials. The money sent through the Center for Tech and Civic Life is the same amount appropriated by Congress this year for state and local officials to also address changes to elections posed by the coronavirus pandemic.

Record numbers of voters have already turned out to vote early,surpassing the total number of people who submitted early or absentee ballots in 2016, according to the latest update from the Election Tracking Project, voters have cast more than 62 million early votes, with at least 41 million voting by mail and 20 million voting in-person.

 

About Catherine Smith

Catherine Smith is a newcomer to Washington D.C. She met, and married an American journalist and moved to D.C from the U.K. She graduated with a B.A in Graphic, Media and Communications and worked in design and retail in the U.K.

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