Tag: Voter

September 24, 2020

YouTube Adds New Voter Awareness Prompts in Election-Related Search Queries

With the US Presidential Election only 40 days away, YouTube has this week announced some new prompts designed to maximize voter understanding of both candidates and the voting process, in order increase participation, and combat misinformation around the poll.

YouTube voting awareness

As you can see here, the new prompts will appear in searches for terms like ‘how to vote’ and ‘how to register to vote’, with alerts that direct users to Google’s official voting tools via a prominent ‘Learn More’ CTA button.

In addition to this, searches for 2020 presidential or federal Congressional candidates will also now display a similar information panel with details about that candidate above search results.

“We’re also providing two additional information panels on voter registration and how to vote, in English and Spanish.”

YouTube’s also adding new in-app reminders on how to register, how to vote and where to vote, while it’s also promoting information from the U.S. Election Assistance Commission about volunteering at the polls, so users can learn more about how to get involved and assist with community participation.

YouTube’s also launching two new YouTube Originals to further highlight election-related information:

  • YouChoose 2020 – An interactive voting special which takes viewers through the key steps in the voting process using the YouTube meme of your choosing – “from a cooking tutorial that compares voting to following a recipe, to an auto repair video that breaks down the ‘nuts and bolts’ of voting”.
  • Kid Correspondent – A four-part election special designed to help parents and families better understand and talk about civic engagement and the democratic process.

As always, YouTube will be a key source of news and information throughout the election period – in fact, data from Pew Research shows that some 38% of YouTube users regularly turn to the platform for news content, which only trails Facebook in terms of social media news sources.

That puts YouTube in a position of significant influence when distributing accurate information, and while the platform can also lead users down conspiracy rabbit holes, steps like these are important in ensuring that YouTube’s audience is getting the right information about the voting process within their viewing activity.

That’s even more important in 2020. With more people spending time at home due to the various impacts of the COVID-19 mitigation efforts, YouTube is seeing an increase in viewership, with the platform recently reporting that watch time of YouTube content on TV screens jumped 80% year over year

Combine this with the fact that more regional newspapers and news outlets have been forced to shut down due to the economic impacts of the pandemic, and that leaves an increasing number of people seeking out news content from alternate sources. Like Facebook and YouTube. 

As such, the role that all social platforms play in distributing accurate information will be ramped up this year, which is why it’s important that each includes links to official information, like these new prompts, in related user queries.    

Free Speech Social Media Platform

September 23, 2020

Twitter Launches New Push to Increase Voter Participation

Twitter is launching a new push to get more people to participate in the 2020 US Presidential Election, including a prominent, top of timeline prompt that will be displayed to all users in the US when they log in today.

Twitter voting push

As explained by Twitter:

“In partnership with National Voter Registration Day, Twitter is making its biggest push ever to encourage people to register to vote and confirm their registration status. Today, we’re rolling out new tools and in-app experiences that will put voter registration resources at the public’s fingertips and support the essential voter registration efforts happening across the country.”

As you can see in the above screenshots, the new voter notifications will be displayed on the main Twitter home screen and in the Explore tab, ensuring all users are made aware of their voting options.

In addition to this, today, Twitter will also prompt users with push alerts to encourage voter registration, while it’s also adding two new ‘hashflag’ emojis for #NationalVoterRegistrationDay and #VoteReady “to empower civic conversation across the country”.

These new elements are tied specifically into National Voter Registration Day, but they also add to Twitter’s ongoing efforts to encourage broader civic participation, and maximize both awareness and transparency around the 2020 Election.

For example, Twitter’s added badges on candidate profiles to highlight their tweets, and clarify who’s saying what (and why) on the platform.

Twitter political candidate profiles

Twitter’s also expanded its policies around election misinformation and the voting process – which has even seen it add warning labels to tweets from US President Donald Trump, underlining the seriousness of its push in this respect.

Twitter has also stopped accepting paid political ads, and has added a range of other measures and tools in order to play its role in securing the integrity of the US Election process, and ensure its platform is not being used to manipulate voters.

Still, there are areas of concern. Various reports have suggested that armies of Twitter bots are still being used to amplify political messaging, and sow division among voters. A recent report also found that one conservative youth group had been paying teenagers in Arizona “to flood social media with pro-Trump messages”.

There are still ways that Twitter can play a negative role in the election process, but for its part, Twitter is looking to add more tools to combat voter manipulation – particularly in relation to the voting process – and get more people to the polls in 2020.

Combine this with Facebook’s new voting participation push and it should see more people encouraged to the poll via social platform usage.

Free Speech Social Media Platform

September 9, 2020

Why TikTok and Snapchat are Prioritizing In-App Voter Awareness