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Facebook doubles down on political ambitions with sponsorship of both major conventions



Those thinly veiled shots that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg took at Donald Trump last month apparently had no bearing on how his company spends its money.

The social network said Thursday that it will sponsor both the Republican and the Democratic conventions this summer — providing both events with financial backing, a "Facebook Lounge" on the premises and other forms of support.

Facebook said in a statement that its involvement in the events does not mean the company is vouching for any particular candidate or party. Rather, it considers the sponsorship to be a chance to encourage its users to participate in the election.

"Facebook will support both the Republican and Democratic conventions in a similar manner and without endorsing any one candidate, issue, or political party," Facebook's vice president of U.S. public policy, Erin Egan, said in a statement. 

"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 U.S. elections and in elections around the world," the statement went on.

This isn't the first time that Facebook or its tech brethren have helped fund major political events. Facebook and Google each sponsored multiple candidate debates on both sides of the aisle earlier this year and last fall.   

For Facebook, the sponsorship deals fall in line with its goal of becoming a destination for discussions about real-time news — a type of conversation where rival Twitter has always had a leg up.

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