You Can Endorse A Presidential Candidate On Facebook Now, So Get Ready For A Flood Of Politically Charged Online Conversations
In case your Facebook feed wasn't already political enough for you, guess what? You can now endorse a presidential candidate on Facebook and share it with your entire friend list. That's right! You don't have to just leave it at "liking" your candidate of choice's page; you can actually endorse them. Interestingly, you can choose to make this endorsement public to literally everyone, available only to your friends, and entirely private (decisions, decisions). I would argue that endorsing a candidate and then not telling anyone about it kind of defeats the idea of an endorsement in the first place, but... well, you do you.
What's more, Facebook has made endorsing your chosen candidate super easy. Once you're logged into Facebook, you simply go to your preferred candidate's page and click on the word "Endorsements" on the left side of the screen. Here, you will see what public endorsements the candidate has received, as well as how many of your friends have endorsed this person.
If you choose to endorse them yourself, you simply click "endorse." A box pops up encouraging you to write something about your choice to share with your Facebook friends. This is also your opportunity to select the privacy settings for the endorsement, so you ask yourself: Do you want your Great Aunt Sally to know who you're voting for? What about all of your roommates? Choose wisely, for the ripples in this particular pond might spread far and wide based on your decision.
To give you an idea, this is what the final step will look like:
It's worth noting, too, that according to Facebook, if your endorsement is public, the candidate may choose to "feature" what you say on their page. So make sure you're OK with that potential outcome before you make your privacy decision!
According to Facebook's explanation of the endorsements, politlical candidates can only be endorsed if the catergory of their page is Politican, Political Candidate, or Government Official, thereby cutting down on the amount of people who will attempt endorse themselves for president. (Be honest: We've all thought about doing that at least once.) If you are an actual political candidate, though, you can reach out to Facebook about how to get the "endorsement" option on your page.
Discussing politics on Facebook has the potential to be a huge mess, but overall, I actually think it's great to have options and be able to freely communicate with one another. Provided things stay civil, the internet provides an awesome medium for us to learn from one another and share differing views and perspectives. It can also sometimes feel safer for people to express their views online than in a face-to-face conversation; if it gets heated, there's a little more distance between you and the other person — literally.
The internet also gives us a plethora of knowledge right at our fingertips, meaning that we can choose to step back and do further research on an issue at any point during a discussion — something which doesn't always happen around, say, the dinner table. So while you certainly don't have to endorse your president of choice on Facebook, you can probably expect to see more than a few interesting conversations pop up as we move closer and closer to election day.