Facebook and Instagram will pin vote-by-mail explainers to top of feeds #article

Facebook and Instagram will pin vote-by-mail explainers to top of feeds #article

Everyone in the U.S. will start seeing informative videos at the top of Instagram and Facebook beginning this weekend, providing tips and state-specific advice about how to vote by mail. The videos will be shown in both Spanish and English.

Vote-by-mail videos will run on Facebook for four straight days in each state, depending on local registration deadlines, starting between October 10 and October 18. On Instagram, on October 15 and October 16, the videos will appear in all 50 states, followed by other voting-by-mail updates over the next two days.

In the U.S. general election, app developers have taken up the mantle of nudging their users to vote even more than in previous years. It's hard to open an app without being reminded to register, from Snapchat to Credit Karma, and that's a good thing. Snapchat reports that through its own reminders it enrolled about 400,000 new voters and Facebook claims that this year it helped 2,5 million people register to vote.

In addition to issues, state laws differ, and for voters new to voting via the mail, they can be complex and confusing. New laws against "naked ballots" in Pennsylvania, the most likely state to determine the outcome of the 2020 election, ensure that any ballot not cast in an extra secrecy sleeve will be thrown out. Secret sleeves have long been optional in other nations.

Facebook and Instagram will pin vote-by-mail explainers to top of feeds #article



Facebook has faced extensive criticism since 2016 for rewarding hyper-partisan posts, amplifying disinformation and incubating violent extremism. The FBI disclosed this week a plot to kidnap Governor Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan that was hatched by paramilitary groups that used the forum to mobilise.

Whether or not the public disclosure of the months-long investigation into domestic terrorism takes into account its decisions, Facebook has taken a slightly more defensive approach through a handful of recent policy decisions. The company extended its ban on QAnon this week, the intricate network of outlandish pro-Trump conspiracies that have gradually spilled over into real-world abuse, after it was permitted to flourish on that material.

Facebook has also only extended its rules banning coercion of voters to ban calls for surveillance using militaristic language, such as the Trump campaign's own plan to employ a "Army for Trump" to keep its political rivals responsible on election day.

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