Facebook will help gather questions for presidential debate
Facebook will help “source” questions online for the town hall-style presidential debate between Republican nominee Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, the organization behind the debates announced on Wednesday night.
Janet Brown, the executive director of the Commission on Presidential Debates, said that anyone will be able to submit a question. There are no guarantees, however, that those questions will make it on air. The moderators of the debate, ABC’s Martha Raddatz and CNN’s Anderson Cooper, will be under no obligation to use them, Brown said.
Still, never before has the commission given moderators a formal option to gather questions from the public via the internet for a general presidential election debate, according to Brown.
A Facebook spokesperson said Thursday morning that its role is advisory and the television networks involved will decide how the questions are collected, if they are collected at all. Moderators could gather questions through their own Facebook pages, for example, or the page of their employer.
The commission has been discussing ways to incorporate questions through social media since at least April. It had previously said 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.”