Facebook launches Voting Information Center for the 2020 US election

It's now live on Facebook and Instagram.

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Facebook’s Voting Information Center is now live on its main platform and on Instagram. The social network first announced the project back in June when it also gave users the option to stop seeing political ads. In that announcement, the company said it was building the hub as part of the “largest voting campaign in American history,” which aims to urge four million people register for the upcoming election in the US.

Users of voting age based in the US will get a notification banner at the top of their timeline linking to the hub, which they’ll also be able to access from the menu. They can use the information center to check if they’re registered to vote, and they can simply follow the link it provides to register if they haven’t yet. And yes, it will contain information on how US citizens living abroad can register and submit absentee ballots from overseas.

The hub will also serve as a resource for all the things and all the changes people need to know about local voting rules, such as if their state has expanded vote-by-mail options. It will link to information from state election officials and other nonpartisan civic organizations, it will give users a way to request absentee or mail-in ballots from their state if available and it will tell them how they can sign up as poll workers. Further, the center can help users figure out how to vote if COVID-19-related concerns end up changing the process for people in their location.

The company has also announced that it’ll label all posts on voting in the US on Facebook and Instagram starting today, a month after it started doing so for posts made by federal politicians. The label will serve as a quick way to access the voting center. Ads about social issues, elections or politics will now also link to the hub through the “i” icon or the “Paid for by” disclaimer.

Finally, Facebook is planning to use the information center to display the latest news and results after Election Night. “A prolonged ballot process has the potential to be exploited in order to sow distrust in the election outcome,” Naomi Gleit, the company’s VP for Product and Social Impact, wrote in her announcement. Facebook is now actively speaking with election officials and will share more details on how it will use the hub to combat potential misinformation around election results in the near future.

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