‘Social Voting’ Really Does Rock the Vote
Brace yourself for a tidal wave of Facebook campaigning before November’s U.S. presidential election. A study of 61 million Facebook users finds that using online social networks to urge people to vote has a much stronger effect on their voting behavior than spamming them with information via television ads or phone calls.
The study comes hot on the heels of a Science paper originally published online in June that tracked how people influence each other’s online behavior through Facebook. A lingering question remained: Does that online social influence translate to real-world behavior when people step away from the computer? The challenge is to find online and real-world behaviors where cause and effect can be teased out with controlled experiments on a large enough scale.