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Fonte: Data Society

Introduction

Can Facebook determine the outcome of the 2016 election? Evidence suggests that it could play a larger role than we may expect or would ever know. Since 2008, Facebook researchers have been experimenting with providing users with ways to inform their friends they were voting, and have studied how making that information available may boost turnout in U.S. elections.2 What they found was that, through manipulating their algorithms and adding features like an “I Voted” button, users who were exposed to these messages were 0.39 more likely to vote than those in the control group, effectively mobilizing a potential total of 400,000 voters to cast their ballot in the 2010 midterm elections.3 From one perspective, Facebook’s ability to ‘nudge’ a percentage of users towards voting seems like positive civic engagement; however, question of which users receive that nudge – and thus which candidates benefit from that crucial bump – raises important questions regarding the potential power and impact that algorithms are having on civic life both domestically and abroad.4

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