Facebook and Instagram accounts flooded with voting reminders

Voters wonder what kind of personal information Facebook is getting from you
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Posted at 4:21 PM, Sep 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-30 18:44:10-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — You may be wondering why you're seeing pop-ups on your Facebook and Instagram accounts with voting reminders.

Over the summer, the social media company announced it's conducting the largest voting information campaign, aiming to help four million voters register using Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger.

Facebook is using your age and location to show you reminders about the election like how to register to vote and how to request a mail-in ballot.

When you click the tab, it actually takes you to a state Division of Elections website with more information.

But what information is Facebook getting from you?

"Facebook is not in the social media business. They make zero money from every single account on social media," said WPTV internet security expert Alan Crowetz with Info Stream. "They are in the information and advertising business. They collect information. That’s what they’re experts in."

Crowetz said it's possible information on who clicks the tabs is being stored. Facebook already said it uses your location to provide you information from your state.

"I don’t trust it," said Valentine Loustra, a Palm Beach County voter.

Loustra said he doesn't trust social media platforms to help him change his voting preferences. But for Lori Wilgis, it's how she got here to drop off her mail-in ballot.

"I clicked on it to see what the choices were, where early voting was in Palm Beach County, and where the ballots could be dropped off," Wilgis said.

Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections Wendy Sartory Link said when dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic during an election, more help to get people to vote is a good thing.

"With COVID now it's harder for us to get out, so if it's getting people to a legitimate place where they can register to vote, as long as they’re doing it before October 5th," Sartory Link said.