Social media giants have had no lack of issues when it comes to political elections, but are they starting to figure it out? Are they using their powers for good?
Social Media Motivating Voters
If you’re still convinced that social media is not good for politics, hold that thought.
Sure, fake news is still a major debate, and Facebook has no shortage of privacy concerns, but it appears the tides may be changing when it comes to the role of social media in elections.
Nonprofit VOTE, the organization behind National Voter Registration Day, partnered with the obvious digital giants like Facebook, Google, Reddit, and Twitter to encourage users to register to vote.
Together, they were extremely successful, registering a record-breaking 800,000+ young people on September 25th to vote. Other organizations, such as HeadCount, have also surpassed their registration goals for younger audiences.
Even Snapchat is getting in on the action.
According to The New York Times, Snapchat has helped more than 400,000 users register to vote during a recent two-week period. The majority of these users fall into the 18- to 24-year-old category, who typically have pretty poor turnout numbers in midterm elections.
Snapchat added buttons to everyone’s profiles, and sent video messages to all users encouraging them to register. Users were directed to a nonpartisan website, TurboVote.org, that asked a few questions before sending them along to local resources.
It appears these social media giants might be onto something.
Young People Are Here
The movement started on March 24, 2018 with the March for Our Lives event in Washington D.C. and elsewhere around the world. As 1.2 million people gathered around the United States for an emotionally-packed day, many wondered whether or not any further action would come to fruition.
Wonder no more.
More people aged 18-29 are registered to vote than ever, and it is clear that social media platforms have played a significant role in this.
Will they vote?
There’s no way to tell how many of these registrants will actually show up to vote on November 6th. However, in recent polls, 55% of 18- to 29-year-old individuals indicated that they are certain to vote, with another 25% saying they will probably vote.
Historically, the stats have been pretty bleak for young voters, with under 20% of 18- to 24-year old voters showing up in recent elections. But if they do indeed make their voices heard at the polls, it will certainly be a sign of changing times.