Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg hopes that the social media platform will spur around four million people to sign up as new voters in the upcoming 2020 U.S. Presidential Elections. Should this be true, a figure of four million new voters would be double the number of new voters the company claimed to have helped register before the 2016 Presidential Elections and the 2018 U.S. Midterms.
To this end, users on Facebook and Instagram will see a new Voting Information Center at the top of their feeds from the next month. It will contain details about registration, voting and mail-in ballots from credible state and local election authorities. Zuckerberg wrote in an op-ed published by USA Today:
“Voting is voice. It’s the single most powerful expression of democracy, the best way to hold our leaders accountable, and how we address many of the issues our country is grappling with. I believe Facebook has a responsibility not just to prevent voter suppression -- which disproportionately targets people of color -- but to actively support well-informed voter engagement, registration, and turnout.”
His comments about voter suppression are contextualized by the criticism Facebook and Zuckerberg received after the social media giant did not challenge or censor President Trump's posts claiming that mail-in ballots lead to rigged elections. Facebook was particularly criticized because Twitter actively censored and flagged the President's tweets for misinformation.