We use Facebook to share our greatest triumphs, our biggest disappointments, our annoyances, and daily experiences. From the consequential to the mundane, it’s all there, so it only makes sense that Americans are taking to the social network on Election Day to let friends know they’ve fulfilled their civic duty.
When users logged in to Facebook this morning, they were greeted with a special banner informing them it was election day, and a prompt to share whether they’d voted with their friends.
Clicking the “I’m a voter” button leads to a status update popup window, which allows users to check in at their local polling place. Facebook makes no secret of the fact that it’s watching—always watching—us, and the data team pulled together the check-in information and created a real time map of our voting efforts.
“This map represents people who shared with their friends on Facebook that they’re voting in the 2014 U.S. election,” Faceboook explains. “The information displayed here has been aggregated, and personal information like names have been removed. The shade of the map corresponds to the total amount of people who have shared that they’re voting, while the size of each burst represents sharing activity right now.”
The map is continually updating, and will do so until the last polls close, you should click in to see what’s going on throughout the day.
While finding out someone voted on election day should be unremarkable, young people have been historically absent at the polls. It makes sense that Zuckerberg and co. would keep track of and encourage users to vote—likely to prepare for the day when all elections are conducted exclusively through Facebook.
Photo via Mortimer62/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)