Those who "liked" the Republican candidate were not enthusiastic voters.
On Election Day earlier this month, Facebook promoted to its users a little button that people could click to announce their civic behavior to their friends. The idea -- hope, really -- is that by making the voting experience social, more people will participate in our democratic process. In 2010, just such a button was calculated to result in some 340,000 additional votes.
For 2012, our presidential election, precise analysis of that button's effects is still months away, but already preliminary data about who used it are starting to be released, filling out our picture of the role Facebook played on Election Day.
First, the top-line numbers: More than 9 million clicked the Facebook's "I Voted" button (varyingly labeled either "I'm a voter" or "I'm voting), some 8.6 percent of the U.S. Facebook population. (It's unclear in the post from Facebook's Data Science team whether they've included people who did not log into Facebook and those younger than 18 in that calculation.)
Women, unsurprisingly, were more likely to click the button than men. As Eytan Bakshy reports, "Women are disproportionately more likely to share in general on Facebook. Compared to comments, likes and status updates, voting has the same amount of gender imbalance as we see in other forms of communication." Overall, the patterns emerging on Facebook are pretty much what you would expect: In addition to women, young people were more likely to share their voting on Facebook, they were also more likely to do so on a mobile device. Democrats and people who otherwise identified as liberal of one sort or another were also more likely to click the button.