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Facebook’s New ‘Townhall’ Feature Lets You Complain To Your Local Congressmen

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Facebook is rolling out a new feature called “Townhall,” in which users can expediently identify and contact their government representatives on the local, state and federal level.

The feature will make it easier for people to offer suggestions (or dish out criticism) to their elected officials, encompassing local city council members, mayors and governors.

The new component comes a month after Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote a lengthy manifesto describing how he wanted the platform to be more than just about social media.

“For the past decade, Facebook has focused on connecting friends and families,” Zuckerberg wrote. “With that foundation, our next focus will be developing the social infrastructure for community — for supporting us, for keeping us safe, for informing us, for civic engagement, and for inclusion of all.”

Facebook promises not to make users’ addresses available to the public.

"Townhall" feature on the social media platform. [Facebook - Screenshot]

“Townhall” feature on the social media platform.
[Facebook – Screenshot]

After a user enters their address, Facebook provides a complete list of their officials, as well as the options to contact them by calling, emailing, or messaging.

Representatives listed for Lower Merion Township, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. [Facebook - Screenshot]

Representatives listed for Lower Merion Township, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. [Facebook – Screenshot]

Users are also given the opportunity to “Follow” the representative, meaning they can keep up with their profiles and any news related to the official. “Following” means that the representative will show up on the News Feed, as well.

Not every local official is attentive to their social media profile, or even has a Facebook account at all, so there are limitations to the new application.

The “Townhall” feature isn’t the first initiative from Facebook that aims to foster “a civically-engaged community.”

During the run-up to the 2016 presidential election, including Nov. 8, when citizens go to vote, tech companies like Google, Twitter, and Facebook offered tips to help users find their official polling place.

“So far, more than 2 million people have registered to vote by going through Facebook, some for the first time, according to estimates based on available data,” Zuckerberg wrote on his own platform.

“This makes it one of the largest voter registration programs in history.”


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  • quakergirl

    Convenient but a tricky way to get everyone’s home address. Espionage in plain sight..

  • RedPillPlease

    I had read an in-depth article at least 5 years ago that a secret NSA program had been written during the Clinton Administration called: “Psycho Behavioral Forensics.” It was using the early internet chat room days to build profiles from its users. Some of the world’s top psychologists, FBI profilers etc were used to help design the program where they stated basic sentencing structure, use of vocabulary and topics could identify an incredible amount of information about the individual such as education, political & religious beliefs, financial stability, family environment etc etc. No doubt Fakebook (which I’ve never had an account) is a component and willing partner in this ever expanding world of spy collection and covert data gathering. They say the NSA facility in Utah can store the entire history of every man, woman and child on the planet. My rhetorical question would be … what for?