University’s Facebook experiment makes political waves

A Facebook ad may have driven 280,000 Americans to the polls in 2010.

A University of California (UC) San Diego researcher who helped prove well-placed Election Day Facebook ads could boost voter turnout said social media could be the most effective way to get Americans to the voting booth this November.

A UC San Diego research team on the day of the 2010 midterm elections posted a reminder to vote on the Facebook pages of 61 million Americans. The “Today is Election Day” banner ad linked to polling place information and displayed photos of users’ Facebook friends who had said they voted.

A control group of 600,000 Facebook members did not receive the voting reminder in their news feeds, and another 600,000 were shown a modified version of the Election Day message without the pictures of friends next to the news feed item.…Read More

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