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Facebook wants you to publicly endorse Trump, Clinton

Technically Incorrect: What can possibly go wrong with Facebook's newly introduced endorsement feature?

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


It's not enough to just watch this spectacle. You have to publicly endorse one of them.

Photo by Scott Olson/Getty

Facebook has one goal: that everything should happen on Facebook.

This includes everything said, every picture taken and, preferably, every thought had.

Its latest idea for a deeper level of user involvement is its new endorsement feature, launched on Tuesday.

This asks you to go along to your favored candidate's Facebook page. There, you'll find a magic endorsement button.

You must click it and then decide whom you want to inform about your political choice. Facebook would also like you to add a few words explaining that choice.

Because, of course, you must explain yourself on Facebook to the fullest extent. It helps with ad targeting, don't you know?

There's one more little kink: If you make your endorsement fully public, the candidate can use your endorsement on his or her own page.

I find my mind invaded by several questions. The loudest is: Why?

You might think that coaxing people into making even more overt political statements is asking for the virtual equivalent of the pub brawl.

However Samidh Chakrabarti, Facebook's product manager for civic engagement, offered me this: "Similar to how politicians, newspapers, and organizations endorse candidates for elected office, this feature allows anyone on Facebook to do the same."

People aren't newspapers any more than companies are people.

Don't some humans, indeed, rather prefer Facebook to be a haven away from an election campaign that's as deleterious to the mind and soul as hanging naked from a church steeple and reciting the dialogue from all of Pia Zadora's movies?

It's as if Facebook wants its pages to be as full of vile bile as Twitter's.

One saving grace of this feature is that it's not just for presidential candidates. You can endorse down-ballot politicians too. Yes, you can localize your potential for vitriol or you can get angry on a national basis.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg adores insisting that the world should be more "open and connected."

I fear that this feature might only encourage some Facebook users to openly connect with a virtual punch.

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