Facebook and Twitter will both be supporting the Republican National Convention this year despite pressure from groups to stay away from the gathering because of Donald Trump.
Despite activist groups mounting anti-Donald Trump pressure, social networking giant Facebook and micro-blogging website Twitter will support the Republican National Convention in July where Trump is expected to be announced the party’s presidential nominee.
According to media reports, while Cupertino-based Facebook will provide financial and other support – including a lounge – Twitter is yet to come up with a detailed plan.
“Facebook will support both the Republican and Democratic conventions in a similar manner and without endorsing any one candidate, issue or political party,” The Hill reported, quoting Erin Egan, Facebook’s vice president of Public Policy. “Twitter works with both major political parties and we will support both national conventions, in order to promote civic engagement and democratic participation,” Twitter spokesperson Nu Wexler said in a statement.
The news comes at a time when activist groups have increased pressure on companies to refrain from supporting the Republican National Convention in Cleveland from July 18-21. According to Facebook, its support is similar to what it has provided earlier in the election cycle. “This support allows Facebook to facilitate an open dialogue among voters, candidates and elected officials during the conventions just as it has during other critical moments in the US elections and in elections around the world,” Egan was quoted as saying.
In the recently-concluded F8 developers’ conference, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg had indirectly criticized immigration policies of Republican front-runner Trump. Throwing a jab at Trump, he said: “I hear fearful voices calling for building walls. It takes courage to choose hope over fear. “Instead of building walls, we can build bridges.”
Zuckerberg was referring to Trump’s call for a giant wall to be built along the southern US border with Mexico. “Our lives are connected. Whether we’re welcoming a refugee fleeing war or an immigrant seeking new opportunity. Whether we’re coming together to fight global diseases like Ebola or to fight climate change, we have the courage to see that the path forward is to bring people together, not push people apart,” Zuckerberg had told the gathering.
Google and Microsoft will also have a visible presence at both conventions in July. According to a recode.net report, activists held a #DumpTrump protest outside Google last week. They have also launched a Facebook ad campaign not to livestream the GOP convention.