Facebook Endorsements - Who Are You Backing for President?
I was always taught that you should never feel obliged to tell other people who or what you're voting for. As much as it's important to voice your opinions, and speak to people with different ones, ultimately it's still your business. Facebook, it seems, would rather than you were completely open about which candidate you want to see in the White House.
That's not to suggest that Facebook is forcing anyone to admit that they're a Trump or a Clinton, but they're certainly encouraging users to share the info, hence the introduction of the 'Endorsements' feature. Basically, if you jump on the official page for either candidate, there's a button saying 'Endorse'. Hit it, and you'll be met with a pop-up window enabling you to post a status indicating your support. This applies not only to Trump and Clinton, but everyone running for US office.
As with a normal status update, you can either share it publicly, or with a select audience. It will also show which of your other friends have backed the same horse. Moreover, all candidates are able to share their public endorsements on their pages, although neither one of them has done it yet.
The aim here, as with most of Facebook's involvement in political news, is to spread debate until the social network becomes the epicenter of pertinent discussion, which is a pretty horrifying thought for anyone who's ever actually been involved in a political debate in a comments section. The fact that they've highlighted the US elections for this feature, rather than applying it more broadly to all the upcoming elections says as much.
Even before the US presidential election takes place, parliamentary elections are taking place in Lithuania and Iceland, a national assembly election is happening in Nicaragua and other presidential elections are going on in Moldova, Palau and Bulgaria. All those countries have Facebook. Now, obviously, the discussion about those elections might be a bit more confined, but shouldn't the people of, say, Palau get to share their endorsements in the same way that Americans can?
You might argue that it's a straw-man argument, but, to me, it just demonstrates that allowing people to voice their political views is a secondary aim for Facebook. Making sure that all of said broadcasting happens on their frequency is the main thing.
Callum is a film school graduate who is now making a name for himself as a journalist and content writer. His vices include flat whites and 90s hip-hop. Follow him @Songbird_Callum
Facebook Endorsements - Who Are You Backing for President? Reviewed by Callum Davies on Friday, October 21, 2016 Rating: