Virginia residents wait in line in the pre-dawn hours to vote in the 2014 US midterm elections at a historic property called the Hunter House at Nottoway Park in Vienna, Va, on Nov. 4, 2014.
Photo by Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA

Facebook wants to know if you voted

One of the most popular social networking platforms on Earth is trying to nudge its users into voting.

On Election Day, Facebook debuted an icon in its members’ timelines which they can click to share that they voted. For those who haven’t voted yet, they can use the new timeline widget to find their polling location.

Clicking “More Information” in the widget brings users to this site, a site that locates the appropriate polling location by address. The site is a project of Facebook, Google, and several other tech companies and non-profits; Tuesday’s Google doodle also brings users to a page where they can find their polling place.

Facebook has tinkered with its “I Voted” sticker before, and its own researchers think the widget may have played a small role in boosting voter turnout in 2010. Critics have raised concerns over the company’s use of the button in prior years because Facebook used the “I Voted” widget to run controlled experiments on members of its user population without their knowledge. However, the company has said that it is not running any such experiments this year.

You can see Facebook’s map of which users say they voted here.

Social Media and Technology

Facebook wants to know if you voted