Facebook is fully ready to strategically control the U.S. mid-term elections after doing research for two years to protect against foreign interference. Recently, Instagram announced that it will run ads in their stories and feed powered by TurboVote which will target all US users above 18 years and provide them necessary steps to get registered and provide voting rules.
Moreover, Instagram is also planning to add “I Voted” stickers in videos and stories. Also, by providing info to your friends how you are contributing to the nation by following civic duty, it will provide a link to Get to the Polls to help users to find their polling location.
By introducing this new strategy, it will help to boost voting in the nation, especially to users of the 21st century. Instagram mentions, “Ahead of National Voter Registration Day, we are helping our community register to vote and get to the polls on November 6th. From today, Instagram will connect US voters with the information they need to get registered.”
Earlier in 2010, a non-biased “Get out the vote” message on the top of the News Feed has attracted around 3,40,000 additional votes. Also, a study conducted by Nature proposed that there has been an increase of 0.6% voting between 2006 to 2010 just because of a single message on Facebook. This is absolutely higher than the 2000 election which has more than 0.1 percent of voters.
At the beginning of 2018, Instagram got 12,000 posts from the Russian military intelligence group the Internet Research Agency reached over 20 million Americans as an attempt to plant disagreement about the 2016 presidential election. They have used different types of image memes about creating social issues in order to divide the nation. After this incident, Facebook has increased its security staff to 20,000, needed identity verification for political advertisers. Also, it is taking hard steps to remove fake accounts linked with election interference.
Russia’s harmful attacks could have stopped users to learn about voting from social media. However, Instagram also consists of a wide number of users and it’s trying to boost voting using new ideas. Now, the last question is, whether social media is able to attract a large number of users using the strategy or whether it gets caught up in other political issues.