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Facebook to launch Fourth of July voter registration drive

Facebook will launch a voter registration drive aimed at registering millions of Americans to vote during the Fourth of July holiday weekend. 

Beginning Friday morning, all voting age Facebook users in the United States will see a notification at the top of the News Feed directing them to resources to register to vote in their area, including a link to their state’s registration website. 

The holiday weekend effort is part of Facebook’s campaign to encourage Americans to register to vote ahead of primary and general elections this year. The Voting Information Center, rolled out last month, aims to register up to 4 million Americans before the November elections and is meant to provide Americans with authoritative information on how and when to vote. 

Facebook plans to spearhead more registration drives on other platforms it owns — including on Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger — in the months leading up to November. 

Facebook CEO Mark ZuckerbergMark Elliot ZuckerbergHillicon Valley: Facebook claims it ‘does not profit from hate’ in open letter | Analysis finds most of Facebook’s top advertisers have not joined boycott | Research finds Uighurs targeted by Chinese spyware as part of surveillance campaign Most of Facebook’s top 100 advertisers have not joined the boycott: analysis Facebook claims it ‘does not profit from hate’ in open letter MORE discussed the platform’s voter registration efforts in a post last week, writing that information on the voting center will be visible at the top of Facebook and Instagram feeds over the next few months. 

A link to the voting center’s resources will also be added to any elections-focused posts in an effort to combat potential disinformation tied to voting. 

“We will partner with and rely on state election authorities to help determine the accuracy of information and what is potentially dangerous,” Zuckerberg wrote. “We know this will be challenging in practice as facts on the ground may be uncertain and we don’t want to remove accurate information about challenges people are experiencing, but we’re building our operation to be able to respond quickly.”

The company has come under intense scrutiny over its efforts to combat disinformation following the 2016 presidential election, during which Russia launched a disinformation effort meant to favor the campaign of now-President TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse panel approves 0.5B defense policy bill House panel votes against curtailing Insurrection Act powers after heated debate House panel votes to constrain Afghan drawdown, ask for assessment on ‘incentives’ to attack US troops MORE

Facebook later estimated that as many as 150 million users based in the U.S. were exposed to content from the Russian Internet Research Agency in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election. Former special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerCNN’s Toobin warns McCabe is in ‘perilous condition’ with emboldened Trump CNN anchor rips Trump over Stone while evoking Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting The Hill’s 12:30 Report: New Hampshire fallout MORE described the disinformation campaign in his report on Russian interference efforts as “designed to provoke and amplify political and social discord.”

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