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10

WebsiteCompass

Facebook Hopes You

Elect to Use Town Hall

This new features connects you to your representatives

Social Media Basics

One Step at a Time

Civic engagement in the U.S. has fallen

in recent years, especially among

young voters, and Town Hall encour-

ages people to become more involved.

First, it gives you a quick way to follow

your elected officials’ Facebook pages

to keep up with what they’re doing on

your behalf.

Secondly, Town Hall lists contact

information so you can reach your

representatives by phone, mail, email,

or messaging. When you choose to

engage, you’re prompted to post this

information on Facebook, meaning

friends will get the hint that it might

be something they’d like to try as well.

(Note: Such alerts are only shown to

those who have already engaged with

the same representative.)

Lastly, Town Hall posts election

reminders so you’ll never forget to

send in your ballot or go to the polls.

While Facebook has been running

reminders for national elections since

2008, it’s now begun doing so for local

elections as well. Such reminders do

have an impact; the journal

Nature

found that Facebook’s 2010 reminders

encouraged 340,000 more U.S. citizens

to vote.

1

Facebook is still making improvements

to the Town Hall feature, such as fig-

uring out a way to deal with some

representatives not having Facebook

pages.

As Facebook began to recognize its own role in the wider culture, it rolled out a new feature on both

desktop and mobile versions to help users become more engaged in the political process. Town Hall

enables you to enter your address to find all your state and federal representatives, and it provides

contact information to make it easier to reach them about issues that matter to you.