Facebook is launching a voter registration drive over the Fourth of July weekend to register millions of Americans to vote in upcoming primary and general elections.
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Beginning July 3, Facebook users of voting age will receive a message at the top of their News Feed with information and resources to help them register to vote in their area, including a link to their state's registration website.
The company said the move is part of a larger effort to "help protect the 2020 elections by connecting more than 160 million people with reliable information about the election, fighting interference, stopping misinformation, and increasing transparency in political ads."
The announcement comes following the rollout of Facebook's Voting Information Center last month, which plans to register up to 4 million Americans provide access to information on how and when to vote. The center will also be used to fight voter suppression and hate speech.
"Since the most dangerous voter suppression campaigns can be local and run in the days immediately before an election, we're going to use our Elections Operations Center to quickly respond and remove false claims about polling conditions in the 72 hours leading into election day," Zuckerberg said in a post about the platform's voter registration efforts last week. "We will partner with and rely on state election authorities to help determine the accuracy of information and what is potentially dangerous."
There will be additional registration drives on Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger throughout the summer as registration deadlines approach, according to the announcement.
Facebook has faced scrutiny for its efforts to combat Russian election interference during the 2016 election. According to Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report, the social media giant estimated that as many as 126 million Americans were reached through the Russian Internet Research Agency's Facebook accounts in the months leading up to the 2016 election.
The news comes amid an ad boycott from several big-name advertisers to pressure Facebook to crack down on misinformation and hate speech on the social media platform. Advertisers involved in the boycott include CVS, Coca-Cola, Starbucks, Hershey, Unilever, Verizon, Best Buy, Clorox, PepsiCo, Adidas and Reebok, Ben & Jerry's, Patagonia, Eddie Bauer and many more.
Facebook responded to the boycott in an open letter Wednesday, saying the company "does not profit from hate." Zuckerberg also reportedly said in a meeting with the company's staff that the advertising boycott will not change Facebook's principles and that "all these advertisers will be back on the platform soon enough,” according to a transcript obtained by The Information.