If you've ever posted anything remotely political on Facebook, you know it's the perfect website to argue your deeply-held beliefs with family and friends. How else would you learn that your cousin intends to sacrifice his daughter for a Ron Paul presidency, or that the girl you slept with one time ten years ago thinks President Obama has been to Mars? Even relatively tame political opinions can create a comment thread that makes you wish you'd never been born to contrarian baby boomers with too much time on their hands. (Surely, I can't be the only one.)
In an effort to tap into the gushing sewer line of political opinions this election year, Facebook — in conjunction with the R/GA advertising agency — has created a social application to put their users' political priorities on billboards in Times Square.
And in their infinite wisdom, Facebook figured out a way to avoid posting divisive comments in crowded, public atmosphere…
The result was an app called 2012 Matters: What Matters Most. Starting this week, Facebook users will see poll questions in their newsfeeds asking them which of two issues matters more – say, the economy or the environment. When a user answers the question, the result will show up on that user’s personal news feed and on friends’ newsfeeds. The friends also will be prompted to take the poll.
The poll questions will lead users to the page where they can install the app from their mobile phones or from their desktops – facebook.com/2012matters. Once the app is installed, they can rank the three issues that are most important to them and opt in to having the results, including their Facebook profile photos, broadcast on the Reuters billboards.
It may sound crazy, but now the guy walking down Seventh Avenue yelling "Like!" at all the flashing lights will seem completely normal.
Photo by Uyen Le/Photodisc/Getty Images
Tags: Barack Obama, Economy, Environment, Facebook, New York City, Primaries, Social Security