Did Facebook influence you to vote today?

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By Autumn Jones
Santiago Montiel

The “I’m Voting” button, launched by Facebook for Election Day, stands at the top of the home page to promote voting, but college students have not really noticed or been impacted by it.
The button was first used for the 2010 congressional elections and might have led to 340 thousand more votes, according to researchers from the University of California at San Diego.
Facebook has a map along with graphics in the site http://www.facebookstories.com/vote that shows the button’s statistics at national and state levels. The site displays peak voting times and a pie chart separating clickers by age. By 7 p.m. ET the map showed about seven million clicks.

Despite the fact that 29 percent of the people who clicked the button were 18 to 24-year-olds, several college students did not pay particular attention to the button. A quick poll of 20 Michigan State University students showed that only 10 voted. One person was planning on voting later, and eight people were not voting at all.
“A button will not persuade me to vote,” Leticia Griffins said.
Griffins, a first-time voter and freshman at Michigan State University voted, but like many other students, had not logged into Facebook and didn’t know about the button.
Students were divided when it came to the impact of the button regardless of whether they voted or not. Some said it was nice to see people being involved, while others argued that it was annoying to see the button. One student who did not vote said the amount of political talk through social media was overwhelming him.

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