Facebook, CNN, and the rise of social voting

July 13, 2012 | Source: Technology Review

(Credit: ElectNext)

CNN and Facebook have joined forces to make the “I’m Voting” Facebook app, which enables Facebook users to endorse candidates and issues, and to commit to voting.

If you use the app and commit to voting for someone, that information appears in your timeline, news feed, and real-time ticker.

During CNN’s political coverage this fall, CNN personalities will use the app to poll users on issues.

“We fundamentally changed the way people consume live event coverage, setting a record for the most-watched live video event in Internet history, when we teamed up with Facebook for the 2009 Inauguration of President Obama,”  CNN’s KC Estenson said.

“By again harnessing the power of the Facebook platform and coupling it with the best of our journalism, we will redefine how people engage in the democratic process and advance the way a news organization covers a national election.”

Is this the rise of social voting? During the midterm elections, Foursquare dipped a toe into the idea that voting could be made “more fun and social.” Foursquare launched a special elections page, reported ReadWriteWeb, awarded badges to those who checked in at polling places, and promoted an #IVoted hashtag. And Facebook had a Facebook Polling Place Locator live during the 2010 midterms.

ElectNext takes the principle of a dating website and applies it to politics. Tell ElectNext how you feel about certain issues, and it will “match” you with candidates that fit your political beliefs. The Sean Parker-funded Votizen lets you publicly endorse certain candidates to your friends, turning your social networks into a digital soapbox of sorts. And once you’ve put your candidates in office, PopVox helps you keep them accountable, by giving you tools to track legislation and tell your representative just how you feel about it.