October 11, 2016
What happens when you open up political debate broadcasts for sharing and commentary by press and the public? That’s what the Internet Archive has been testing over the past few debates by providing a near real-time public feed.
Given the volatile dynamics of this election, all eyes were on Sunday’s town-hall debate in St. Louis. Here are a few ways users tapped into the feed:
- The most widely-played quote of the night was shared by FiveThirtyEight’s Farai Chideya. In it, Clinton rebukes Trump, saying “I know you’re into big diversion tonight—anything to avoid talking about your campaign, and the way it’s exploding and the way Republicans are leaving you…”
- Our partners at Factcheck.org linked to quotes from the feed to substantiate their debate fact-checking. For example, they selected this clip to bolster the observation in “dueling tax claims, the candidates distorted the effects of each other’s tax plans.”
- On Twitter, users tapped into the feed to narrate their reactions to the contentious debate:
- The Internet Archive’s own Brewster Kahle even got in on the near real-time action.
One thing we’ve discovered as we’ve been using the tool ourselves is that it’s quite challenging to simultaneously watch the live debate, follow the overflowing river of tweets (Most tweeted debate ever!), and stop and take the time to clip quotes from the feed.
So, for the final debate, we’ll do some of the work for users—clipping out likely quotes and making them available to share during the debate and afterwards.
Stay tuned for links to the near-live feed and sharable quotes for the October 19 debate in Vegas. We will post on our debates page before the candidates take the stage. We’ll help make sure that what happens there doesn’t stay there! Also, check out our data on TV news use of debate clips in their coverage following the debates.