Racial issues dominate U.S. political chatter on Facebook

Racial issues dominated U.S. political chatter on Facebook ahead of tonight’s presidential debate between Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican rival Donald Trump, data from the social media giant released Monday shows.

From Aug.25 to Sept. 24, racial issues was the most talked about political topic on Facebook nationwide followed by Homeland Security and terrorism, government ethics, the economy and religion.

The findings aren’t surprising given the recent media attention surrounding the deaths of Keith Lamont Scott in Charlotte, North Carolina and Terence Crutcher in Tulsa, Oklahoma, two black men who were fatally shot by police.

On Saturday, Charlotte police released video footage from police dash and body cameras that showed the shooting of Scott after facing more political pressure, including from Clinton. Trump, who has been accused of making racist remarks during his campaign, has also been trying to reach out to more black voters.  The Justice Department is investigating both shootings.

More than 33 million people nationwide posted about, shared, liked or commented on Facebook posts about Trump more than 367 million times. Clinton-related content generated chatter from 28.6 million people more than 298 million times.

Facebook is sponsoring tonight’s presidential debate, which is scheduled to start at 6 p.m. PT at Hofstra University, Hempstead, New York.  Lester Holt, anchor of “NBC Nightly News,” is moderating the highly anticipated event.

But television isn’t the only way to catch the political showdown. Facebook and Twitter are both live-streaming coverage of tonight’s debate.

Photo: A TV technician is seen on the stage of the first presidential debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York on Sept. 26, 2016. The first U.S. presidential debate between Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump comes six weeks before the November 8 elections. (TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)


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