Social networks plan digital side of presidential debates

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For the first time, viewers won't need a TV to watch the debates live, because YouTube is streaming all four debates, the three presidential ones and one between Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden to make first WHCD appearance: report If you’re going to meet with Merrick Garland Biden on cancer research: 'I’ve been on the other end of the need' MORE and GOP vice presidential candidate Paul RyanPaul RyanObama mocks GOP, media and himself in final WHCA dinner address Obama jabs at GOP: Is this dinner too tacky for the Donald? Former GOP senator: I’d back Trump but not Cruz as nominee MORE.

In cooperation with Univision, the debates will also be live-streamed simultaneously in Spanish.

Facebook is also hosting live events featuring guests such as Sen. Michael BennetMichael BennetGOP Senate candidate wins right to be on Colorado ballot EPA ozone rule looms large in swing state 2 Colorado Senate candidates fail to qualify for ballot MORE (D-Colo.), Rep. Cory GardnerCory GardnerInvestments in research and development are investments in American jobs EPA won’t pay Colorado county for some mine spill costs The Trail 2016: Trump applies presidential polish, Cruz adds VP MORE (R-Colo.), Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper and Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock. Facebook users can ask questions in real time for events that start Wednesday afternoon.

Twitter plans to organize and analyze the conversation about the debate using the hashtags #debates and #Denverdebate. Twitter also plans to set up an Event page, much like those used to curate real-time tweets for both nominating conventions, organized around the #debates hashtag, which will carry forward through the month.

And for viewers looking for a visual take on the debates that will likely skew more light hearted than other mediums, Tumblr is working with The Guardian to host a Live-GIFing of the debate on their official Election blog. The evening is sure to prompt some moments worth their own animated recap.

"Our research indicates that most Americans now consume their hard news in the form of animated GIFs," Tumblr editor-in-chief Chris Mohney said in a statement. "And we take the potential of legitimate GIF journalism very seriously, as should anyone still working in the old-school blog-focused model of reporting."

The first debate takes place Oct. 3 at the University of Denver. The moderator is PBS's Jim Lehrer, and it will focus on domestic issues, particularly the economy.

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