Tykkään or En tykkää? Digital Voting Takes to the Streets

Silvia Celiberti
March 18th 2013

Last April, the city of Helsinki asked its citizens to give their opinion about the construction of a new and expensive branch of the Guggenheim museum. Brought to the streets, and set up as a real-life Facebook interface (with the addition of a powerful "Dislike" button, a nonexistent option in the social network), a big touchscreen allowed people to physically  "Like" or "Dislike" the proposal.

The vote results did influence – but not determine –  the city's final decision to not pursue the project. Maybe because the touchscreen system is still missing a way to identify individuals and avoid "likejacking" or multiple votes from the same passerby, or maybe due to the semantic implication of shifting from a yes/no polar question to a more emotional like/dislike reaction.

This experimental street translation of a social network feature makes it easier to see that once we set aside technological interfaces, our ancient tribal dynamics are the very reason behind the existence and popularity of social networks. Now hit the button/leave a rock in the pile if you'd like to leave your opinion.

Story and image via The Pop Up City

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