Originally published: September 14, 2011
Last updated: September 14, 2011 - 6:45pm
San Francisco has long been a laboratory of democracy and now it’s putting perhaps the next big thing in social media electioneering through the paces: A tool that matches Facebook and Twitter networks with voter data to get people to the polls.
The program by Votizen — a Silicon Valley firm with backing from several tech industry heavyweights — is being used to aid the campaign of acting San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee in his hard-fought battle for a full term. And some experts say they wouldn't be surprised to see such technology go national in 2012. The technology works like this: A citizen signs up and declares their endorsement for Lee, and Votizen confirms the person is a registered voter. If the voter wants to do more — say, be a campaign volunteer — Votizen scours his or her Twitter/Facebook/social networks for names and then compares that list to voter registration records, which shows address, party affiliations and whether the person voted in a previous election. The supporter is then asked to contact the likely voters in his social network to support the candidate and even given ideas of how best to pitch friends based on their public positions. A list of people is then cobbled from the social media sites. And on a chosen day, the person does “a virtual precinct walk,” selling the candidate to people in his social networks.
- Votizen Brings The Empowerment Of The Internet To Elections
- Facebook, Twitter Election Results Prove Remarkably Accurate
- Poll: Obama's tops among tweeters
- Can the Social Network Predict Winners in the 2010 Midterms?
- Social Media and Voting
- Can search results, online advertising, likes and follows predict an election?
- Face-off by Facebook
- TV Debates That Sell More Than Just Drama
- 22% of online Americans used social networking or Twitter for politics in 2010 campaign
- Poll: Political Participation Higher Among Social Media Users
- The Fast Company Field Guide to Modern Political Campaigns
- Major TV News Networks Agree To Shield Early Exit Poll Data On Election Day
- How Users Took Over Twitter
- Judge Voids Measure to Bar News Exit Polls
- Social-Media Sites Turn Out to Present One More Land Mine for Politicians