Twitter Launches Get Out the Vote Campaign

Jack Dorsey and Twitter employees
@Jack/Twitter

Twitter rolled out its own get out the vote campaign on Tuesday, six weeks ahead of Election Day. The initiative is part of an unprecedented effort by social media platforms to increase voter turnout.

Every Twitter user in the United States is being encouraged to register to vote or confirm their registration, according to a report by USA Today.

The social media platform’s campaign began on Tuesday, which was National Voter Registration Day.

The report added that a push alert in a Twitter user’s notifications tab will take the user to a Twitter Moment with additional voter registration information, and that Twitter will take over the promoted trend with voter registration resources from TurboVote.

Twitter is not alone in its effort to influence the election. Facebook and YouTube are also changing their platforms ahead of the November election in an attempt to encourage users to register, as well as “fact check” information published to the platforms.

In one recent instance, Facebook added a “fact check” label to an ad campaign highlighting Democrats’ support for biological men competing in women’s sports.

Meanwhile, Twitter has been “fact checking” President Donald Trump’s tweets. Last week, the social media platform added a “fact check” label to one of the president’s tweets warning about the potential for fraud with mass-mailed ballots in the upcoming election.

On Monday, Facebook said that it estimates it has already registered 2.5 million voters across Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger, surpassing its 2 million registrations in 2016 and 2018.

Jennifer Grygiel, a communications professor at Syracuse University, has warned that these types of voter drives may come with hidden agendas and problems, as an Instagram campaign, for example, could skew turnout with younger or more liberal individuals, reports USA Today.

Meanwhile, Grygiel claims that a Facebook voter drive could skew turnout with older and more conservative individuals.

“Corporations are political entities and we should not assume that platform voter registration campaigns are being done with only public good in mind and aren’t also strategic,” said Grygiel. “Social media companies have a lot at stake right now as they face increasing regulation.”

“Their efforts to register voters could be serving corporate goals and we need to make sure they are not strategically registering voters in a way that could skew the election,” she added.

The report added that last week, Twitter announced a voting information hub on its platform that will include facts on mail-in ballots, as well as how to register for the upcoming election in Spanish.

You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Twitter at @ARmastrangelo, on Parler at @alana, and on Instagram.

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