Some social media sites push voter registration, but tech giants like Amazon refuse to help

Posted September 24, 2020, 2:50 PM

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 23, 2020

(757) 376-1808

shuo@fightforthefuture.org

Our tracker reveals who is—and who isn’t—helping register voters for the 2020 election.

Fight for the Future is releasing a report that tracks the activities of websites, apps, influencers, and YouTube channels, on their efforts to support voter registration and voter access in the lead-up to the 2020 election. Today, the report follows the activities of the Alexa top 100 sites in the US and whether they supported National Voter Registration Day on Tuesday, September 22, 2020 with high visibility promotions on their websites. 

This year’s National Voter Registration Day was likely the largest single push for voter registration in US history, with major social media websites like Facebook, Reddit, and Twitter leveraging their platforms with high-visibility notices embedded in their homepages and apps to urge US users to register to vote. Other well known web platforms like Tumblr and Imgur also created similar notices to engage their audiences with front page banners and customized content to promote voter registration.

However, the vast majority of websites surveyed, from commerce giants like Amazon.com and eBay.com to the finance industry like JP Morgan Chase and Wells Fargo did little to nothing to leverage their platforms to encourage their millions of daily users to register to vote. 

The full results can be found at savedemocracy.online and will be routinely updated in the weeks leading up to Election Day with reports on other slices of the Internet. These will include information on the top 100 YouTube channels by subscribers, Twitter accounts with most followers, and more. The site also provides tools for people and companies to apply to their platforms to push users to register to vote with an easy-to-install widget and banner ads for websites and social media templates for influencers.

"Some social media giants are stepping up in the lead up to what may be the most important election of our lifetimes," said Shuo Peskoe-Yang with Fight for the Future (pronouns he/him), "But it’s no coincidence that the companies most under siege, like Facebook, are the ones who have invested the most in voter registration work. Virtually every other website is shirking their responsibility to drive engagement, making it clear that companies won’t take real action until they’re under pressure to do so. Our platform lets people see who’s doing their civic duty, and who needs to be pushed to participate. With the most important weeks still ahead, there’s still time for them to redeem themselves when it matters the most."