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Facebook in bid to ensure Scots take part in the referendum

FACEBOOK is to intervene in the ­independence referendum to encourage Scots to vote.

From today, users of the social network in Scotland will be able to add "registered to vote" to their timelines.

The technology company predicted the move would lead to thousands of status updates - and an increased awareness of the registration process.

The change is part of a wider awareness campaign, in partnership with the elections watchdog, the Electoral Commission.

And in a move that may prove controversial over the coming weeks, Facebook users in Scotland will also see posts raising awareness of a new interactive referendum guide created by the Commission.

The voting guide will also be sent to more than over 2.5 million households across Scotland. It includes information on how to register to vote as well as a "pitch" from the two lead campaign groups, Better Together and Yes Scotland, and a statement from the Scottish and UK Governments on what would happen after either a Yes or No vote.

Elizabeth Linder, from Facebook, said: "Millions of people from all walks of life use Facebook in Scotland, and have turned to it in recent weeks to share their views on the independence debate.

"But participating in the debate online isn't enough to get your opinion counted on September 18.

"We hope that by enabling millions of people in Scotland to see this guide in their Facebook newsfeed, more people will know how to cast their ballot and have their say."

Alex Robertson, from the Electoral Commission, said the body wanted to ensure as high a turnout as possible.

"We're asking people to help spread the word and make sure that no-one misses out on having their say."

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