The 2016 Presidential election will be the first time social media is used as a source for questions during a debate. On Wednesday night, it was announced that Facebook will “source” questions In the Town-Hall-Style debate between Republican nominee Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
Executive director of the Commission on Presidential Debates, Janet Brown, said that anyone will be able to submit a question. The questions asked will have the possibility of making it on air if the moderators of the debate, ABC’s Martha Raddatz and CNN’s Anderson Cooper, decide to use them.
A Facebook spokesperson said Thursday morning that its role is “advisory” and the television networks involved will be able to decide how the questions are collected. The commission has been discussing how to incorporate questions in the debate that are asked directly by U.S. citizens.
The commission has previously stated that half of the questions in the debate “will be posed directly by citizen participants and the other half will be posed by the moderator based on topics of broad public interest as reflected in social media and other sources.”
This decision to incorporate a liberal social media outlet as a source for one of the most important elections in history may not work in Trump’s favor. Social media websites such as Twitter, Instagram, and yes Facebook, have been caught using their websites to censor Trump and help out Hillary.
It should be no surprise to anyone if it’s just a “coincidence” that all the Facebook questions used are the hardest-hitting and most anti-Trump questions the moderators wouldn’t have asked the candidates otherwise.
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