Facebook messages 'increase voting'

Facebook friends may have played a significant role in getting hundreds of thousands of Americans to vote in the last congressional election, a new study suggests.

Researchers found that users of the social network who got messages on election day that their friends had voted were a bit more likely to go to the polls than those who did not get the same reminder.

They say the effect multiplied and likely increased turnout by as many as 340,000 voters in 2010.

Outside experts said the new study fits with other research on get-out-the-vote drives. But they said the numbers may be a bit high.

The study is reported in the latest issue of the journal Nature.

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