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Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

An estimated 2.5 million+ Americans have registered to vote on Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger, Facebook announced Monday. More than 733,000 Americans have registered to vote so far via Snapchat.

Why it matters: The broad reach of social media platforms makes them uniquely effective at engaging voters — especially younger voters who may not know how to register to vote or be civically engaged.

Details: Facebook says it determined that over 2.5 million people have registered to vote across its apps, based on conversion rates it calculated from a few states that it has already partnered with.

  • The number so far beats its record of over 2 million people registered for elections in 2016 and again in 2018.
  • The company's CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in July that Facebook's 2020 goal is "to help 4 million people register to vote."
  • Facebook also said Monday that it has launched a consumer marketing campaign to inform more users about how to register and participate in the elections.
  • COO Sheryl Sandberg and members of the company's executive team will use Live on Facebook events this week to promote the registration effort.

The big picture: Tech companies were caught flat-footed by the way their platforms were used by foreign actors in the 2016 election. After four years of backlash, they want to show their commitment to civic engagement and election integrity.

What's next: National Voter Registration Day is on Tuesday.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Jun 29, 2020 - Technology

Facebook boycott battle goes global

Photo Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

The Madison Avenue boycott against Facebook has quickly grown into a worldwide movement against the content moderation policies of social media giants.

Why it matters: The initial Facebook boycott among advertisers, prompted by Facebook's refusal to fact-check a post by President Trump, has hit a nerve amongst people outside of the marketing community, who think boycotting social media advertising altogether could help to create a healthier internet.

Ranking the 5 big suits against Google and Facebook

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Facebook stands to lose the most, but Google is more likely to lose: That's the consensus of experts Axios asked to rank the threats the two tech giants face as five separate major antitrust lawsuits bear down on them.

Why it matters: A loss for Facebook or Google in any of the cases could force deep changes in how Silicon Valley does business — and even lead to a court-ordered breakup.

What Matters 2020

How online ad targeting weaponizes political misinformation

Photo Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Ad targeting is how Facebook, Google and other online giants won the internet. It's also key to understanding why these companies are being held responsible for warping elections and undermining democracy.

The big picture: Critics and tech companies are increasingly considering whether limiting targeting of political ads might be one way out of the misinformation maze.

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