A 61-million-person experiment in social influence and political mobilization

Robert M. Bond, Christopher J. Fariss, Jason J. Jones, Adam D. I. Kramer, Cameron Marlow, Jaime E. Settle & James H. Fowler

Results from a randomized controlled trial of political mobilization messages delivered to 61 million Facebook users during the 2010 US congressional elections show that the messages directly influenced political self-expression, information seeking and real-world voting behaviour of millions of people. Furthermore, the messages not only influenced the users who received them but also the users’ friends, and friends of friends.  The effect of social transmission on real-world voting was greater than the direct effect of the messages themselves. Read more…