Facebook added a new option on the social media platform that allows people to endorse a political candidate for the US Presidential Elections 2016. It seems like an innocent feature, but it goes against the principle of voting.
Ancient Greeks laid down the bedrock for democracy, and along the years, humanity has taken the necessary measures to keep the system as fair and just as possible. People often associate the term democracy to freedom of speech, human rights, and other traits.
However, the word makes reference to a system that lets people govern themselves through voting.
Consequently, voting is the backbone of democracy. There is nothing more important in a democratic regime than elections, but if people want the system to work, they have to follow the simple yet effective rules surrounding the process.
How can you endorse a political candidate on Facebook?
People who want to support a candidate on Facebook officially have to follow a series of simple steps. First, people interested on endorsing a candidate have to visit the political figure’s Facebook page.
Once there, they need to click the ‘Endorsement Section’ and select who is going to see the status on their timeline. Then, users will have the option of writing a personal message before posting it, and that’s it.
If the users choose the supporting status to be ‘Public,’ it could also appear on the timeline of the candidate’s Facebook page. Moreover, he or she can feature the endorsement which can be considered a perk for avid users of the social network.
Is endorsing a political candidate in Facebook dangerous?
The secret ballot is a voting method that allows people to cast a vote in an anonymous way. The idea is to prevent political candidates from intimidating or bribing voters. Instead, they have to present a solid plan that rallies people behind their cause.
Surprisingly, secret ballots are relatively new. The United States started using them in the Presidential Elections of 1884, and Kentucky, the last state to adopt the system, used the oral ballot until 1891.
For democracy to work, the vote has to be secret. Now, endorsing a candidate on Facebook might seem innocent, and maybe it is, but it provides the political candidates with “marketing information” they can use to turn the tide in their favor.