Will Facebook influence the 2019 Swiss elections?

Online social network Facebook is allegedly planning to deploy its controversial “I’m a voter” button in Switzerland ahead of parliamentary elections next year. The Swiss authorities have not been officially informed by the US company, according to Swiss media reports.

According to Republik, the election button is to be deployed the week before Swiss elections, scheduled for October 20, 2019, to remind voters to head to the polls. But officials in Bern have not been officially informed, it said.

“The Federal Chancellery has no knowledge of Facebook’s intention to deploy an ‘I’m a voter’ button in Switzerland. Facebook has not contacted us regarding this matter,” René Lenzin of the Federal Chancellery told Republik.

The election reminder button appears on some users’ Facebook profiles, reminding them of their civic duty and showing them which of their friends have already voted. Republik claimed the button had influenced elections in 66 countries.

Regarding the button’s role in next year’s Swiss elections, the Facebook spokeswoman told Republik that nothing had yet been decided and that the company would “establish a dialogue with the officials responsible when the time comes”. She added that the company intends to steer clear of referendums in Switzerland for the time being.

Source : Swissinfo

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