facebook town hall search contact politicians

Screengrab via Facebook

Facebook’s new Town Hall feature is perfect for putting politicians in their place

But it has some serious limitations.

 

Phillip Tracy

Layer 8

Published Mar 27, 2017   Updated May 24, 2021, 7:27 pm CDT

Facebook is rolling out a new feature that lets you find and contact local, state, and federal representatives.

“Town Hall” is the newest entry created by the social media giant to help solve the question Zuckerberg posed in his recent letter to the community: “How do we help people build a civically engaged community in a world where participation in voting sometimes includes less than half our population?”

Here is how to use the Town Hall feature:

  1. Find and press on the “Town Hall” application under the “explore” header on your main page.
  2. Type in your address (which Facebook says won’t be shared) to find representatives for that location.
  3. Scroll through the list of government officials and choose who you would like to contact. (Notice the headings for “Local,” “State,” and “Federal.”)
  4. Press on “contact” to the right of the representative’s profile picture for information on contacting them, including their phone number, mailing address, and/or Messenger.
  5. You can also follow any representative from this page if you’d like to learn more about them.

The new app isn’t entirely exhaustive. It only includes details officials make public via their Facebook page. That means some pieces of information, and even some officials, are missing. We hope Facebook finds a way to fill in the gaps so we can do away with the frustrating process of navigating government pages to find straightforward contact details.

Despite its apparent shortcomings, Town Hall is a welcome addition, and may already be the most convenient way to get ahold of government officials. The app is currently rolling out to all users in the United States.

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*First Published: Mar 27, 2017, 3:30 pm CDT