Are selfies the key to getting young people to vote in the forthcoming EU referendum? A new initiative born from a government initiative seems to think to.
A social media campaign inviting youths to post a selfie alongside the hashtag #VoteMcVoteface has landed on Twitter. Inspired by the popularity a recent RRS naming competition which saw ‘Boaty McBoatface’ take first place as the public’s choice for the title of a £200m polar ship, the drive was created by founder of Snap Fashion, Jenny Griffiths.
Griffith’s told the Huffington post that she was asked to attend a government meeting alondside other tech companies to help get 500,000 young people registered to vote in the EU referendum.
“My contribution is #VoteyMcVoteface,” she said.
The campaign has, however, courted a mixed reaction on Twitter, with some pointing out that the name ‘Votey McVoteface’ was the subject of a Private Eye sketch before the government meeting had even taken place.
Oh man, UK tech's idea to get young people to vote is literally a Private Eye cartoon pic.twitter.com/3dbRFh0Y9D
— James Cook (@JamesLiamCook) May 30, 2016
Others dubbed it patronising, and said it was unlikely to engage young voters.
#voteyMcVoteface: Politicians will never get through to young people as long as they continue to treat them like absolute morons — Adam Payne (@adampayne26) May 30, 2016
Q. How do we encourage young people to engage with the political process without either patronising or confusing them?
— RHYS HOWELL (@rhys_isterix) May 30, 2016
#voteyMcVoteface just ppl outside 18-24 slagging it off. "But it's got people talking" not *really* a valid counter pic.twitter.com/lrDEEyNuzC — Rich Leigh (@RichLeighPR) May 31, 2016
If this is for real, it is tragic on about 30 different levels
— Jeremy Vine (@theJeremyVine) May 30, 2016
Elsewhere, some praised the idea, and said they believed it would take off.
great initiative by @JennySnapTech founder/CEO @SnapFashion: 7th June last day to register to vote #voteyMcVotefacehttps://t.co/SyhDlJNkQ6 — Eileen Burbidge (@eileentso) May 27, 2016
— Kathryn Taylor (@Taylok19) May 29, 2016
Griffiths addressed critics via a series of Twitter posts, saying that as long as the idea got people talking then she would be happy.
1/2 To any #voteyMcVoteface skeptics - I agree it's a ridiculous idea. It's why it's getting people talking. As long as we're raising... — Jenny Griffiths (@JennySnapTech) May 30, 2016
2/2 awareness that there's a problem. FYI wasn't invented by a marketing company in suits... I'm 28 and just care about getting ppl to vote
— Jenny Griffiths (@JennySnapTech) May 30, 2016
#VoteyMcVoteface follows on from a separate Britain Stronger in Europe youth campaign which creators said was made knowing youths would "probably take the piss out of it."