While Facebook users are probably getting tired of the political bickering, commentary, and pictures on their News Feeds, it is proof that political participation on social media is contagious.
Politicians like Howard Dean and Ron Paul have been using Facebook and other social media since 2004 to advance their causes and help reach younger voters. Barack Obama has also used social media to his advantage for both his 2008 and 2012 bid for the presidency.
But Facebook can do more than simply familiarize voters with the candidates or allow them to “Like” a campaign page. For voters between the ages of 18 and 24, it can actually help push them to go vote.
A new study from the University of California showed that social messages helped remind people to vote. Younger users who saw their friends vote ended up being more likely to vote themselves.
The study showed that by using social media, the 2010 midterm elections saw 300,000 more voters hit the polls. So, while all that political bickering on Facebook and Twitter is annoying now, it could eventually increase the chances of a higher voter turnout.
Check out the inforgraphic below which shows how social media is helping politics in the 2012 election.