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NBC, Facebook Partner for GOP Presidential Debate

The top news network and top social network partner for a debate to air just before the New Hampshire primary

Now that President Obama has had town halls using Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, the Republican presidential candidates will try out social media-related campaigning for themselves.

NBC’s “Meet the Press” and Facebook are partnering to simulcast a Republican Presidential primary debate on the Sunday before next year’s New Hampshire primary. Moderated by “Meet the Press” host David Gregory, the debate will be shown on NBC, MSNBC, Facebook and the New England Cable News.

 “This is sure to add a groundbreaking new chapter to the rich history of ‘Meet the Press’ political debates,” Steve Capus, president of NBC News, said in a statement. “What really sets this partnership apart is that we are able to combine the reach of NBC’s audiences and Facebook’s users to connect with engaged, informed communities.”

NBC and Facebook have yet to discuss the details of the debate, in particular how technology and social interaction will factor in, but the press release said it would be an “innovative, multi-platform forum” where voters and viewers will be able to react and discuss within their online communities.

Like the Twitter town hall, this sounds like the social media will be used but only in limited form. If viewers and voters are reacting online, that could mean those reactions will be posted at times during the debate and used to pose new questions.