Earlier this week, the New York Times reported that a Facebook voter registration reminder, which sat atop users' News Feeds for several days in September, contributed to a drastic rise in online registrations around the country. That's not particularly shocking; this isn't the first time Facebook has nudged users to exercise their right to vote. It's also been proven that their "I Voted" button significantly boosts voter turnout on election day.
Now Facebook appears to be doubling down on its voter registration efforts, deploying push notifications to users a day before the deadline in their particular state. On Twitter, people in Washington, DC, Texas, New York, and elsewhere have been sharing screenshots of the messages that popped up on their phones.
The notifications once again raise legitimate concerns about how Facebook could deploy such a message to certain users and withhold it from others, theoretically giving one party or candidate an advantage. If the company can directly affect who turns out to vote and where, it stands to reason that it's within their power to strategically tilt the election in a huge, unprecedented way -- and with no oversight or accountability.