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Facebook says it's helped 4.4M people register to vote this year

Facebook says it's helped 4.4M people register to vote this year
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Facebook on Monday said it has helped an estimated 4.4 million people register to vote across its platforms since launching a voter information initiative over the summer.

Facebook CEO and co-founder Mark ZuckerbergMark Elliot ZuckerbergDemocrats urge YouTube to remove election misinformation, step up efforts ahead of Georgia runoff Democrats press Facebook, Twitter on misinformation efforts ahead of Georgia runoff Hillicon Valley: Facebook content moderators demand more workplace protections | Ousted cyber official blasts Giuliani press conference | Tech firms fall short on misinformation targeting Latino vote MORE in June announced the company would launch a voting information center, with the aim of helping 4 million people to register to vote. 

“Today, we hit our goal,” Zuckerberg said in the post published about a week before Election Day. 

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“We estimate we've helped 4.4 million people register across our apps — based on conversion rates we calculated from states we've partnered with,” Zuckerberg added. 

Facebook has been displaying “reliable election information” at the top of its apps for all users of voting age in the U.S., including key deadlines and information on how to vote by mail, Zuckerberg said. 

Facebook’s voting information center included a link for users to register to vote or check their voter registration status. 

The social media giant’s push to include voting information ahead of this year’s elections follows intense scrutiny the company faced over the spread of disinformation on its platform during the last presidential election. 

In 2016, the Internet Research Agency, a Russian government-sponsored troll farm, used Facebook as part of a disinformation campaign designed to sway the presidential election in favor of now-President TrumpDonald John TrumpPennsylvania Supreme Court strikes down GOP bid to stop election certification Biden looks to career officials to restore trust, morale in government agencies Sunday shows preview: US health officials brace for post-holiday COVID-19 surge MORE. Facebook later estimated that up to 150 million users were exposed to the misinformation on its platform ahead of the general election. 

Earlier this month Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan said they would donate $100 million to shore up election security efforts, a month after they donated $300 million for the same issue. Their two donations together total $400 million, the same amount appropriated by Congress this year for state and local officials to address changes to elections posed by the coronavirus pandemic. 

Election Day is eight days away, but record numbers of voters have already turned out to vote early. Roughly 58.6 million Americans have voted early as of Sunday afternoon, The Associated Press reported, surpassing the total number of people who submitted early or absentee ballots in 2016.