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Bringing the Election to Facebook: Attracting Young Voters while Causing Massive Amounts of ‘De-friending’











CNN and Facebook recently announced they will be partnering to socialize the upcoming election, encouraging users to share their political views through surveys, buzz feed measurements, and forums. The project, entitled America’s Choice 2012, will give Facebook users the opportunity to use the ‘I’m Voting’ app, where they can endorse candidates and share their opinions on important issues. CNN will use the data gathered as part of it’s election coverage.

One thing I’ve learned from growing up in the social media age, is that people are not shy when it comes to talking politics on Facebook. People get fired up about an issue, blast out a status, and the comments come pouring in. I cringe when I see someone post a status bashing a candidate or making an outrageous comment about a political issue, because more likely than not, that person has a lot of Facebook friends that completely disagree and become offended. It’s one thing to share news stories and post about current events. It’s a whole different ball field when people barrage your news feed with their political beliefs and rants. I’m sure I’m not the only person out there who has ‘de-friended’ someone for getting a little too feisty about politics.

CNN and Facebook’s new project will undoubtedly be great for getting young people more involved in the election. It will be easier for Facebook users to keep up with the latest campaign news, and will provide them with solid information about the candidates and the issues. The ‘I’m Voting’ app allows users to endorse a candidate and essentially recruit Facebook friends to do the same. All information is shared on users’ time lines and news feeds. This is where I see a potential problem. Since Facebook users already bicker about politics regularly, this app will mostly likely just make it worse. I don’t feel comfortable sharing my personal political beliefs on Facebook, and I don’t necessarily need to know who my friends are voting for either. A lot of people take their political ideologies and beliefs extremely seriously, and may change their views on a person simply based on the fact that politically, they share nothing in common.

While the America’s Choice 2012 project most likely won’t turn you against your best friend, it may force you to ‘de-friend’ a few obnoxious Facebook users who took their comments a little too far. I’m excited to check out the app, and eager to see how CNN uses the information as part of it’s election coverage.

What are your opinions on CNN and Facebook’s new initiative? Let me know!