Feb 7, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Apple makes its debate debut

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Apple will co-host its first-ever political debate Friday in an effort to show off its growing investment in news.

Why it matters: Apple's role in tonight's Democratic debate in New Hampshire comes as two of the biggest tech giants, Facebook and Google, are noticeably absent from the debates this season.

  • The debate will feature deep integrations with Apple's news product, which bills itself as a more curated, editorially-focused news experience than that which exists on other big tech platforms.

Details: The tech giant is co-hosting the debate alongside ABC and New Hampshire's WMUR-TV.

  • Unlike those outlets, Apple will not have a moderator featured in the debate to question candidates, and it will not be providing any editorial guidance or questions to the moderators.
  • Instead, it will solicit questions from users through its news app. The company began collecting questions earlier this week.
  • Apple has also built several special features to highlight coverage of the presidential election, including real-time election results data from the Associated Press, policy resource guides for readers, a guide to each presidential candidate, and a news literacy guide to help readers identify misinformation online.
  • Apple will provide state and national polling data, infographics and analysis through a partnership with ABC-owned political blog FiveThirtyEight. ABC News' coverage of the debate will be livestreamed on Apple News and will also be available to be live-streamed directly on the Apple TV app.

The big picture: As we've reported, tech companies have increasingly been participating as co-hosts or sponsors of political debates. Both the RNC and the DNC decided to cut back on the number of debates beginning in 2016.

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Data: Axios research; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

Flashback: YouTube and Facebook first partnered with TV networks for debates during the 2008 presidential cycle. MySpace partnered with the Commission on Presidential Debates in 2008 on a series of interactive features for the debates that allowed users to review candidates online while watching the debates.

Be smart: Tech partnerships can sometimes help bring voters closer to the debate, by giving them a chance to ask questions or register reactions in real-time.

What's next: The next debate that will feature a tech company as a co-host will be on Feb. 25, when CBS News co-hosts the 10th Democratic debate with the Congressional Black Caucus Institute and in partnership with Twitter in Charleston, South Carolina.

Go deeper: Tech's on-again, off-again role in campaign debates

Go deeper

Twitter fact-checks Chinese official's claims that coronavirus originated in U.S.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian. Photo: Greg Baker/AFP via Getty Images

Twitter slapped a fact-check label on a pair of months-old tweets from a Chinese government spokesperson that falsely suggested that the coronavirus originated in the U.S. and was brought to Wuhan by the U.S. military, directing users to "get the facts about COVID-19."

Why it matters: The labels were added after criticism that Twitter had fact-checked tweets from President Trump about mail-in voting, but not other false claims from Chinese Communist Party officials and other U.S. adversaries.

Podcast: Trump vs. Twitter, round two

President Trump is escalating his response to Twitter’s fact check of his recent tweets about mail-in voting, issuing an executive order that's designed to begin limiting social media's liability protections. Dan digs in with Axios' Margaret Harding McGill.

Go deeper: Twitter vs. Trump... vs. Twitter

24 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 12:30 p.m. ET: 5,731,837 — Total deaths: 356,606 — Total recoveries — 2,376,542Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 12:30 p.m. ET: 1,703,989 — Total deaths: 100,651 — Total recoveries: 391,508 — Total tested: 15,192,481Map.
  3. Congress: Pelosi slams McConnell on stimulus delay — Sen. Tim Kaine and wife test positive for coronavirus antibodies.
  4. Business: U.S. GDP drop revised lower to 5% in the first quarter — 2.1 million Americans filed for unemployment last week.
  5. States: New York to allow private businesses to deny entry to customers without masks.
  6. ⚽️ Sports: English Premier League set to return June 17.
  7. What should I do? When you can be around others after contracting the coronavirus — Traveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

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Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy