Let's say you're someone who has strong feelings about politics and all aspects of the 2012 Presidential race. Good, it's nice to care deeply about things. Let's also say that you like to make your policial leanings well known to all. Well, that can be a mixed bag. With that in mind, Facebook and CNN have teamed up to make sure this election is as social as possible, in a way that hopefully focuses on the parties, candidates and issues without much of that inflammatory fluff that belies real political discussion.
"With Election Day right around the corner, it’s time for everyone to get involved, understand the issues, and make a commitment to participate. We believe that the power of friends – the social dynamic that creates a societal impact -- will result in a more involved citizenry that turns out on Election Day, informed about the most critical issues facing the nation," says Facebook's U.S. Politics & Government Team.
When you first launch the app, you'll be asked to take a very simple voting pledge. all you have to do it click "Yes, I'm voting" to get started. If you don't want to make that kind of a crazy commitment (?), you can skip it and head on to the meat of the app.
The I'm Voting dashboard consists of questions, maps, results breakdowns, and a comment section - everything you need to get the political discussions going. Users can cycle through questions like...
What's your political leaning?
Which issue matter most to you?
If the election were held today, who'd get your vote?
Should the public be able to see all of a candidate's previous tax returns?
Should Americans be required to have health insurance?
Should states be able to enact tougher immigration laws than the federal government's?
...and many more. You can click on "Support" for whichever position you choose and then decide if you want that answer pushed to your Timeline and your friends' news feeds & tickers by simply checking or unchecking the share box. Every page has a comments section that you can once again choose whether or not to post to your Timeline.
Here's a sample of the page layout:
Facebook says that the app will also become a "second screen" for CNN on-air and online content. Presumably, that means that the network will use data compiled from the app in its broadcasts.
Like I've said before, 2012 is the first truly social election. Not only are the candidates more invested in getting out their message (and the vote) via Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc. - but voters have a better opportunity to share and debate than ever before. Politics on Facebook gets a bad rap - and rightfully so sometimes. People are oftentimes as*holes, to put it bluntly.
But sharing your opinions on the issues via Open Graph app - that has to be better than a snarky status, right?
Disclaimer: I am guilty of many a snarky political status.