MySpace is to hold a 'mock' presidential election, open to all MySpace users who reside in the United States, regardless of whether they are eligible to vote in the official ballot. Voting will take place on the 1st and 2nd of January 2008.
Although the MySpace votes won't count for the official election, results compiled from the News Corp. social-networking site's millions of members may help candidates gauge their potential success in real voting booths next year. They also may provide a glimpse into overall public sentiment for the politicians.
MySpace has already launched a page dedicated to aggregating the official profiles of those US presidential hopefuls that have embraced the social networking site. So why not hold a MySpace election?
However, as Mike Arrington notes, the results could be open to manipulation:
Given the low quality of the MySpace user base (multiple accounts, no identity check, etc.) it would be relatively easy for a campaign to create a significant number of fake accounts to stuff the ballot box in their favor.
Arrington suggests that Facebook would make a better platform for a mock election:
Facebook’s user accounts are each tied to an email address or cell phone, resulting in far fewer fake or duplicate accounts... Facebook can also tie their users to U.S. residency much easier than MySpace. The results would actually be interesting.
I'm inclined to agree.
Related post: MySpace, a place for friends (and presidential hopefuls)