Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg used the company’s developer conference previously for indirectly criticizing the immigration policies of Donald Trump, the Republican presidential front-runner. Now the social media company will be sponsoring the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, where “Trump is expected to emerge as the party’s presidential nominee,” says Re/code.
All to keep users engaged
Facebook has clarified that it is not endorsing any candidate, issue or political party, and it plans to do the same at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.
Facebook’s vice president of public policy, Erin Egan, said in a statement, “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 U.S. elections and in elections around the world.”
Egan notes that with Facebook’s presence at the conventions, its users will be able to stay engaged in the debate around the 2016 race for the White House. This is the topic that has been dominating discussions on the platform.
Facebook criticized for supporting the RNC
Facebook has been criticized for announcing support for the RNC convention in the week in which Trump became the Republican party’s de facto presidential candidate. One such critic is Heidi Hess of CREDO Action, a group that seeks to promote progressive social change, the report says.
Hess said, “They’re really wrapping their arms around Trump. We will certainly try to get them to reconsider their decision.”
CREDO Action belongs to a group of progressive and civil rights organizations that create pressure on major corporations, including Microsoft, to withhold support for the GOP’s nominating event. These organizations argue that by doing so, the companies endorse Trump’s hateful rhetoric.
Google facing opposition also
Last week, activists held a #DumpTrump protest outside Google, and now they launched a Facebook ad campaign targeting 10,000 Google employees. These employees are being urged to put pressure on their Mountain View employer to pull the plug on a planned live-stream, the report said.
The video campaign includes some of Trump’s most provocative speeches, like those in which Mexican immigrants were described as drug dealers and rapists, those calling for a ban on Muslims entering the U.S. and those demeaning Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton.
Google has always maintained that its presence at the RNC and DNC conventions is similar to that it made in 2012. It uses YouTube to offer access to millions of people who are unable to attend the event in person.