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Facebook to sponsor GOP convention plans despite Trump protests

Facebook plans to have a major presence at the Republican National Convention in July, where frontrunner Donald Trump will officially become the party's nominee for president. The social network has no plans to bow to pressure from protestors and critics of Trump, who've urged tech leaders like Google and Microsoft to abandon their convention plans in light of Trump's controversial rhetoric during the campaign. Google's YouTube will be streaming the convention, and also offering virtual reality experiences captured directly from the floor in Cleveland.

“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 US elections and in elections around the world,” Erin Egan, Facebook’s vice president of public policy, said in a statement.

Facebook maintains that its sponsorship of the GOP convention, which will reportedly include a “lounge”, does not constitute an endorsement, but the announcement has angered a coalition of organizations that have launched campaigns urging technology companies and other corporations not to sponsor the party of Trump.

“Lifting up Donald Trump’s fascist platform at the Republican National Convention is irresponsible and dangerous,” said Murshed Zaheed, political director of the progressive activist network CREDO. “It simply isn’t possible for Facebook to financially support a Trump-led Republican convention without associating its brand with Donald Trump’s hateful rhetoric.”