Facebook announced the roll out of a new feature called “Townhall.” Users can use it to quickly identify their local, state and federal government representatives, and contact them through the social network.
The new Townhall feature on FB, will give users a simple way to communicate with their elected officials, offer suggestions and of course, criticism. This feature will allow them to quickly communicate with governors, mayors and local city council members.
Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook, wrote a very long manifesto recently. He described his vision for FB as more than just a social media platform. A month later, he proves his dedication to transform the social network into something more valuable with the launch of Townhall.
Zuckerberg wrote about how Facebook has been focusing on connecting people with families and friends for the last 10 years. Now, the network plans to focus on developing “the social infrastructure for community.”
“With that foundation, our next focus will be developing the social infrastructure for community — for supporting us, for keeping us safe, for informing us, for civic engagement, and for inclusion of all.”
Facebook promises not to make users’ addresses available to the public.
After a user enters their address, Facebook provides a complete list of their officials, as well as the options to contact them by calling, emailing, or messaging.
Users are also given the opportunity to “Follow” the representative, meaning they can keep up with their profiles and any news related to the official. “Following” means that the representative will show up on the News Feed, as well.
Not every local official is attentive to their social media profile, or even has a Facebook account at all, so there are limitations to the new application.
The “Townhall” feature isn’t the first initiative from Facebook that aims to foster “a civically-engaged community.”
During the run-up to the 2016 presidential election, including Nov. 8, when citizens go to vote, tech companies like Google, Twitter, and Facebook offered tips to help users find their official polling place.
“So far, more than 2 million people have registered to vote by going through Facebook, some for the first time, according to estimates based on available data,” Zuckerberg wrote on his own platform.
“This makes it one of the largest voter registration programs in history.”