FACEBOOK had sizeable impact on voting in 2010, new study concludes

By Dave Andrusko

A study released today in the journal “Nature” concludes that “Facebook’s efforts to encourage users to vote drove more than 300,000 voters across the U.S. to the polls in November 2010,” according to POLITICO’s Steve Friess summarizes. The key was the influence people had not just on friends when they told them they had voted via Facebook but also on friends of friends!

Whatever the actual number—the figures are extrapolations– the figure is bound to grow. That’s why it is vitally important that you take advantage of NRLC’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/nationalrighttolife

There are a number of important resources to be found on the NRLC Facebook page. But the most important fact is that the impact of this pro-life educational material is exponentially increased when you share those items on your Facebook wall, spreading the pro-life message to your family and friends.

I recently found out a truth about Facebook that was already old news by the middle of 2009: online sharing via Facebook has surpassed sharing via email.  (An acquaintance apologized for missing an email from me but said that he now conducts virtually all his communication through Facebook and, to a lesser extent, Twitter.)

In fact, nearly half of all online sharing occurs on Facebook today. That is an astonishing change over a relatively short period of time.

People are generally excited to share news and information with their friends, and this partially explains why the Facebook phenomenon has been so successful.  It is also why NRLC constantly tries to avail you of this success by making NRL News Today stories and items on our StopTheAbortionAgenda.com site sharable through Facebook and other social media channels. (Again the URL is www.facebook.com/nationalrighttolife.)

The study published in Nature is ingenious. Researchers found that those who saw who saw a “Vote” message in their newsfeeds that identified several friends were more likely to vote than Facebook users who had not seen the message.

“In addition, researchers at the University of California, San Diego, said, there was an indirect effect, in which friends of people who saw the message were more likely to vote than the friends of people who did not,” Friess writes. “Users who saw the ‘Vote’ message without the component referencing their friends voted at the same rate as those who didn’t see the message at all.”

The study of a whopping 61 million Facebook users examined their behaviors;. To verify that those who claimed to vote actually had done so, researchers later cross-referenced with public voter information. “Researchers extrapolated to conclude that more than 300,000 people may have been prompted to vote because of these social media messages.”

So, please go to www.facebook.com/nationalrighttolife. It’s a great looking page with loads of extremely useful material.

And PLEASE place those items on your Facebook wall!

Your feedback is very important to improving National Right to Life News Today. Please send your comments to daveandrusko@gmail.com. If you like, join those who are following me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/daveha