Facebook and Google go to the polls

Social media and search engine onboard for election day

When Danish residents log on to their computers today, they’ll see reminders that today is election day.

As the campaign ends, the centre-left coalition of PM Helle Thorning-Schmidt, and the centre-right opposition, led by former PM Lars Lokke Rasmussen, appear to be neck and neck.

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Facebook will feature a ‘voting’ button at the top of the user’s newsfeed that says in Danish: “I voted in the 2015 general election.”

“It is part of the changes both Denmark and Facebook are a part of,”  Thomas Myrup Kristensen – Facebook’s head of public policy in the Nordic and Benelux regions, eastern Europe and Russia – told DR.

“Facebook has become the place where you share what is important to you with those who are important to you, and that includes news about politics.”

Kristensen said he hopes the button will motivate voters, especially first-timers, to go out and vote.

“Although Denmark usually has a very high turnout, we still see a lack of first-time voters,” he said. “We hope that if they see their friends have voted, it will motivate them to do the same.”

The button will not necessarily be visible every time someone logs on, but if it shows up in a friend’s status update, a user can click on that status and be directed to the button.

Google this
Google, meanwhile, has changed its Danish homepage’s logo in honour of today’s election day.

A click on the doodle opens a list of updated stories about the election.