Is Facebook Sponsoring the Republican National Convention?

Just as with food products, it pays to check the date stamped on news articles.

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Claim

Facebook has announced they will be sponsoring the upcoming Republican National Convention.

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Given the contentious relationship between U.S. President Donald Trump and social media platforms in mid-2020, many internet users found it in turn amusing, ironic, or dismaying when they encountered news articles announcing that Facebook had confirmed they would be sponsoring the upcoming Republican National Convention at which Trump would be officially nominated for a second term in office:

With Donald Trump all but nominated as the Republican Party’s presidential candidate, Facebook has confirmed to Recode that it will remain a sponsor of the GOP’s July convention in Cleveland. That’s despite an activist group urging tech companies to pull their support for the event, which they characterize as “sponsoring” Trump’s contentious platform.

It’s also despite public tension between Trump and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who last month criticized “fearful voices calling for building walls and distancing people they label as others.” Though Zuckerberg did not name Trump, Trump’s campaign staff nonetheless responded to the comments, saying that Zuckerberg’s “attitude would change” if he moved closer to the U.S. border.

A salient detail that eluded many viewers, however, was that the information they were perusing was several years out-of-date, taken from a four-year-old Fortune article about the 2016 Republican convention. So much so, in fact, that Fortune prepended an editor’s note to their story to alert readers to that fact:

“Editor’s note: In a bid to reduce misleading online sharing of this story, we must reiterate: It was published in 2016.”

As of this writing, the details of the 2020 Republican National Convention — including its location — remain uncertain:

The Republican National Committee is zeroing in on Jacksonville, Florida, as the new site for President Donald Trump to accept the party’s nomination, according to two sources briefed on plans of RNC officials.

The RNC backed out of Charlotte, North Carolina, last week after Gov. Roy Cooper and Mayor Vi Lyles wouldn’t commit to allowing a full convention amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The Washington Post first reported that Republicans “tentatively settled” on Jacksonville, citing three unnamed Republican officials.

The Republican National Convention is scheduled for Aug. 24 to 27. Charlotte will still hold some of the business meetings, RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said, but the committee is looking for another city for the “celebration.”

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Sources

Morris, David Z.   “Facebook Confirms It Will Sponsor Trump’s Republican National Convention.”
    Fortune.   7 May 2016.

Garrison, Joey.   “Jacksonville, Florida, Emerges as Front-Runner for Republican National Convention.”
    USA Today.   10 June 2020.