News Corp.'s MySpace has the presidential debate stamp of approval.
The social network has been officially sanctioned by the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) to launch MyDebates.org, which will debut Wednesday. The site offers a downloadable app that will stream the presidential debates live, archive them for on-demand viewing (searchable and tagged, naturally), participate in polls, and track the candidates' stances on issues.
The first presidential debate is September 26, followed by a vice presidential debate on October 2. This marks the first time that the CPD has officially partnered with a Web property for debate coverage.
Since the early days of the '08 electoral process, MySpace has been launching high-profile activism initiatives through "MySpace Impact," a nonpartisan politics site. The social network has rolled out a register-to-vote contest geared toward indie bands, a citizen-journalism competition in conjunction with MSNBC, an NBC News-powered election site, and a series of polls. In addition, the site held a series of candidate "dialogues" in partnership with MTV.
MySpace, and social networks in general, were far more under-the-radar in the last presidential election cycle, so their potential impact on turnout, awareness, and election results remains unmeasured. But the site's stereotype as a teen hub shouldn't get in the way: MySpace says that four-fifths of its members are of voting age.