Social media’s role in this year’s federal election continues to grow bringing in a larger audience.
Articles covering each candidate are the majority of stories for Canadian news’ Facebook pages. Sponsored advertisements, paid for by candidate’s campaigns, are sweeping users’ timelines. Facebook is registering Canadians and Americans to vote.
New provisions to the Canada Elections Act (CEA) came into effect on June 13, requiring digital ads to be added to an online registry. Sites like Facebook and Instagram must have a published digital registry of all political ads and the name of the person who authorized the advertisement.
The new requirements ensure advertisements comply with the CEA. Users are now encouraged to vote on Facebook and provided with a link that registers Canadians on the spot.
“Facebook allows you to register to vote and also to help others register by simply sharing a post. You then click on the post which should redirect you to an authentic registration site,” said Doha Hanno, a first time voter.
The excess of advertisements, articles and even memes, continue to influence users, that may have had no interest in politics, with the upcoming federal election.
Pages that cater to urban youth like 6ixbuzztv, share at least two election related posts per day to their over 1 million followers.
For Hanno, 23, the constant emphasis on the elections on every outlet is making a positive impact on younger users.
“I definitely think social media is an advantage for our generation,” says Hanno. “If there are a few more votes and registrations because of social media, then it’s serving its purpose.”