Facebook has gotten involved in politics by making it easier for users to keep track of their representatives with its new Town Hall feature.
Here’s how it works:
Go to www.facebook.com/townhall:
Enter your address:
Facebook will find your local, state and federal representatives.
From here, you can follow your representatives’ Facebook feeds or contact them.
It’s a simple, convenient way to keep track of politics, both on a local level and a national level. However, changing the world requires more than just clicking “follow” on Facebook. Our leaders probably aren’t checking their Facebook messages, though it is really fun to send them insults and rude images (but don’t send epilepsy gifs please.) We have to keep calling, protesting and showing up to political rallies in real life if we want to see meaningful progress.
Web-based activism is easy, but not as effective as being physically there. Killing the AHCA took a lot more than clicking on “angry” Facebook reaction emojis. It required huge protests, and angry town halls full of hundreds of citizens speaking to (and sometimes shouting at) the politicians who were trying to take away their access to healthcare.
Facebook’s new town hall feature can make it easier to keep abreast of news and be politically aware. But it’s not perfect. We’re guessing that the information politicians send out from their Facebook pages probably isn’t the most honest or accurate. (In Trump’s case, we’re mostly expecting semi-coherent rants and ads for his daughter’s fashion line.)
Facebook has faced criticism recently for enabling the spread of inaccurate news and dishonest propaganda. Some commentators even blamed him for Trump’s electoral success. Maybe this, and its new attempt to crack down on questionable “news” websites, is an attempt to make up for past mistakes.