Elections: Facebook to remind users to enroll as voters

Last Updated 24 January 2019, 18:34 IST

Facebook will on Friday remind its users across India to get themselves enrolled as voters so that they do not miss the opportunity to take part in the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections.

The Election Commission (EC) and the offices of the Chief Electoral Officers in the states and Union Territories will on Friday observe the National Voters Day in New Delhi and at more than six-lakh locations covering about 10-lakh polling stations across the country.

Facebook, which now has over 200 million users in the country, too, will do its bit.

It will send out reminders in English and 12 other languages— Kannada, Hindi, Gujarati, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Punjabi, Bengali, Urdu, Assamese, Marathi and Oriya— asking people, who are eligible to vote, to get themselves registered as voters.

The ‘Register Now’ button on Facebook is designed to encourage Indian citizens to register themselves with the Election Commission.

In the run-up to the general elections, many first-time internet users will participate in the upcoming elections.

According to Facebook, its voter registration reminder is an effort in creating an informed community and give people the tools to easily access the information they need to participate in democratic processes.

“Facebook believes in giving voice to people and provide a safe platform for healthy debate and exchange of ideas. As India, goes into elections, we have made significant investments to fight misinformation and continue to facilitate constructive civic engagement. As part of our efforts, on National Voters Day, a voter registration reminder will appear at the top of the News Feed as a reminder service for all the voters,” Shivnath Thukral, Public Policy Director (India and South Asia) in Facebook, said.

A Facebook spokesperson said that by clicking on the “Register Now" button, people would be directed to the National Voters’ Services Portal which would guide them through the registration process.

“By this, those who are eligible to vote and can easily access and register on the portal,” said the spokesperson.

“Facebook aims to promote electoral participation which is an integral part of any democratic system.”

This is the second time Facebook is rolling out its voter registration reminder across India.

Earlier, it rolled out a similar reminder in partnership with the EC in 2017.

Facebook said in a statement that it was making significant investments to prevent bad actors from interfering with elections on the social media platform.

Over the past year, Facebook has more than doubled the team working on safety and security from 10,000 to more than 30,000 around the world, introduced political ad transparency ahead of elections, improved its ability to detect and quickly remove fake accounts and stepped up its efforts to fight false news, said the spokesperson.

(Published 24 January 2019, 13:59 IST)

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