How do you accidentally run for President of Iceland?

Blog by Anna Andersen: “Content design can have real consequences — for democracy, even…

To run for President of Iceland, you need to be an Icelandic citizen, at least 35 years old, and have 1,500 endorsements.

For the first time in Icelandic history, this endorsement process is digital. Instead of collecting all their signatures on paper the old-fashioned way, candidates can now send people to to submit their endorsement.

This change has, also for the first time in Icelandic history, given the nation a clear window into who is trying to run — and it’s a remarkably large number. To date, 82 people are collecting endorsements, including a comedian, a model, the world’s first double-arm transplant receiver, and my aunt Helga.

Many of these people are seriously vying for president (yep, my aunt Helga), some of them have undoubtedly signed up as a joke (nope, not the comedian), and at least 11 of them accidentally registered and had no idea that they were collecting endorsements for their candidacy.

“I’m definitely not about to run for president, this was just an accident,” one person told a reporter after having a good laugh about it.

“That’s hilarious!” another person said, thanking the reporter for letting them know that they were in the running.

As a content designer, I was intrigued. How could so many people accidentally start a campaign for President of Iceland?

It turns out, the answer largely has to do with content design.Presidential hopefuls were sending people a link to a page where they could be endorsed, but instead of endorsing the candidate, some people accidentally registered to be a candidate…(More)”.

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