Facebook, Twitter taking part in GOP convention despite anti-Trump pressure

Facebook, Twitter taking part in GOP convention despite anti-Trump pressure

 

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 TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump pushes back on recent polling data, says internal numbers are 'strongest we've had so far' Illinois state lawmaker apologizes for photos depicting mock assassination of Trump Scaramucci assembling team of former Cabinet members to speak out against Trump MORE.

Both companies said they would provide support for both the Republican and Democratic conventions scheduled for July.

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Facebook said it would be providing financial and other support, including a Facebook lounge at the GOP convention, Politico reported.

"Facebook will support both the Republican and Democratic conventions in a similar manner and without endorsing any one candidate, issue, or political party," Facebook's vice president of Public Policy Erin Egan said in a statement.

Twitter did not describe how it would be helping the convention and said it has not yet finalized its plans.

"Twitter works with both major political parties and we will support both national conventions, in order to promote civic engagement and democratic participation," Twitter spokesman Nu Wexler said in a statement.

The news comes as advocates have increased pressure on major corporations to repudiate Trump's statements and policies by refraining from donating cash or services to the GOP convention in Cleveland.

Facebook said the support is similar to what it has provided earlier in this election cycle. It helped sponsor the first GOP debate last August.

"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 said. "We believe encouraging this ongoing conversation is important because an informed debate about the candidates and the issues is essential to the democratic process."

Neither Facebook nor Twitter have been major donors to the conventions in years past, so they were not among the primary targets of advocates' pressure campaign this year.

But activists pressed Facebook on the issue after CEO Mark Zuckerberg took an apparent shot at Trump over immigration during a developers' conference last month.

“With comments like those made by Mark Zuckerberg, it is our hope that he and others will show the same level of integrity when it comes to rejecting the violent rhetoric and policies being espoused by Donald Trump by refusing to invest in the RNC Convention,” Rashad Robinson, who leads ColorOfChange, said at the time

A number of other companies, including Google and Microsoft, have also bucked public pressure and said they will have a visible presence at both conventions.

Microsoft on Friday announced it would provide tech services to both conventions and cash donations to the Democratic side. It said it will not make similar monetary donations for the GOP convention, after meeting with advocates. 

- This story was updated at 3:19 p.m.