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How are Facebook, Google, and Apple handling the GOP’s gala event?

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Need to Know

As the Republicans converge on Cleveland this week to (presumably) nominate Donald Trump, you won’t find much evidence of a tech embrace at the Quicken Loans Arena.

Aside from a scheduled speech from Facebook board member and Gawker antagonist Peter Thiel on Thursday (theme: Make America One Again), the tech community will be maintaining a relatively low profile.

In a widely-reported move in June, Apple withdrew from the GOP convention, reportedly because of objections to Trump.

Hewlett-Packard will not donate any cash or tech gear, despite contributing $1 million over the last two Republican conventions.

Both Google and Microsoft will provide technology and support, despite aggressive calls from protest groups for the companies to withdraw from the convention.

However, Microsoft will not make a cash donation to this year’s GOP gaggle; in 2012, they threw in $815,000.

“We appreciate that this year’s conventions may have some more dramatic moments than in some prior years,” Fred Humphries, Corporate VP of U.S. Government Affairs for Microsoft, wrote in a blog post.

“This is all the more reason, in our view, to ensure that they benefit from technology tools that are used for a range of important activities, from helping to record accurate vote counts to sharing information quickly and accurately with delegates and the public.”

Facebook too will have an official presence in Cleveland, setting up a Facebook Lounge to “showcase election-related activity happening on our platform”, a rep told Politico.

Of course, you will be able to use tech to actually watch the four-day event. There’s an official RNC 2016 app for iOS and Android, featuring 360-degree camera streams. Twitter has partnered with CBS News to stream coverage and C-Span will air it all on Facebook Live.

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