Commission on Presidential Debates: Twitter initiative, including hashtags, added to 2016 debates
The non-partisan Commission on Presidential Debates has worked hard to bring social media and technology platforms to the 2016 debates in an effort to expand their reach and educational value. Today, the CPD said that Twitter will join this effort with an initiative designed to encourage discussion and engagement around the 2016 presidential and vice presidential debates.
Beginning today, users Tweeting with either official debate hashtag – #debates or #debates2016 – will see a unique new Twitter emoji icon appear in their tweets. Twitter will also provide an analysis of recent trends in election-related discussion on Twitter and will curate questions from users related to announced debate topics for inclusion at the moderators' discretion.
This initiative joins those undertaken by a wide range of technology, social media and voter education organizations, including Facebook, Google, PBS NewsHour/Microsoft, Snapchat, C-SPAN, and JoinTheDebates. The combined effort will offer more ways for people to watch and learn from the debates than has ever been available before.
The CPD's debates will again be held on university campuses which are sponsoring dozens of projects to involve young voters in debate-related programs. They include:
Hofstra University (first presidential debate, September 26) is hosting a Viewer's Guide to Televised Debates, which will offer tips for viewing the debate critically and provide a guide how to be media literate while watching the presidential debates. (hofstra.edu/Debate).
Longwood University (vice presidential debate, October 4) is hosting a 2016 Student Citizenship Summit, where several hundred secondary school students will come from around the region to learn how the democratic process has brought about meaningful change in American history. (debate.longwood.edu)
Washington University in St. Louis (second presidential debate, October 9) and the Gephart Institute will offer students the opportunity to participate in a civic dialogue after each of the debates, encouraging them to engage in a respectful discussion relating to the election. (debate.wustl.edu)
University of Nevada, Las Vegas (third presidential debate, October 19) will host a group of over fifty international delegates, in an International Debate Study Mission, to help them understand what goes into hosting a presidential debate. (unlv.edu/2016debate)