Publication Date: October 11, 2000
WASHINGTON, DC—Since the first ever online presidential debate launched on Sunday, October 1st, netizens are eagerly taking advantage of the historic opportunity to pose their own questions to the candidates participating in Web White & Blue 2000’s Rolling Cyber Debate. The online format of the Rolling Cyber Debate allows for a broad array of questions to numerous candidates, with text, voice or audio submissions as responses.
As of press time, over 2200 questions have been collected via Web White & Blue 2000 charter sites including iVillage, MSNBC, Oxygen, PBS.com, washingtonpost.com, USAToday.com, Yahoo! and webwhiteblue.org. A cross section of the questions so far include:
- Nearly 150 about school violence
- Over 150 on drug policy and medicinal use of marijuana
- Nearly 60 regarding President Clinton and impeachment
- Almost 30 concerning American Indian policy
- Nearly 30 on the potential of war between China and Taiwan
- Nearly 20 questions on the subject of police brutality
“Citizens are really engaged and are interested in topics that run the gamut from presidential character to Africa policy, from fetal tissue experimentation to D.C. statehood,” said Peter Orvetti, Editor-in-Chief of Web White & Blue 2000. “This is exactly what we hoped the Rolling Cyber Debate would do—give American citizens a voice in the debate process, and expand the dialogue beyond a few big issues.”
Web White & Blue‘s Rolling Cyber Debate is open to any presidential candidate qualified on enough ballots state by state to win, in theory, a majority of electoral votes. Campaigns participating include those of Harry Browne, Patrick J. Buchanan, George W. Bush, Al Gore, John Hagelin and Howard Phillips. Ralph Nader’s campaign has been invited but has not agreed to participate.
The Rolling Cyber Debate is a daily exchange carried on Web, White and Blue 2000’s network of 17 of the largest Internet traffic centers. The exchange has two parts: a Message of the Day from the campaign and a response to a Question of the Day submitted by an Internet user. Responses can take any form (video, audio, text, or links to a candidate’s website), and are not limited in length. Each campaign is permitted a rebuttal to their opponents’ message of the day and question of the day responses.
“We expect the number of questions to increase as more people log onto the network and get involved in the Rolling Cyber Debate,” said Orvetti. “Once the televised debates end on October 17th, the Rolling Cyber Debate will be the only remaining outlet for questioning candidates through Election Day.”
The 17 sites that make up the Web White & Blue 2000 network are: ABCNEWS.com, America Online, CNN’s allpolitics.com, Excite, FOXNews.com, iVillage.com, Microsoft/MSN, MSNBC.com, MTV.com’s Choose or Lose, NetNoir.com, npr.org (National Public Radio Online), NYTimes.com, Oxygen Media, PBS Online, USATODAY.com, washingtonpost.com’s OnPolitics, Yahoo!.
In addition to these 17 charter sites, hundreds of non-profit organizations, schools, media outlets and individual Web sites have linked to Web White & Blue 2000 as Participating Sites with more sites joining every day. “We attribute part of the success of the Rolling Cyber Debate to the hundreds of Web sites that have linked already to Web White & Blue 2000,” said Steven Clift, Web White & Blue 2000 Outreach Coordinator.
The views expressed during the Rolling Cyber Debate are those of the candidates, and not those of Web White & Blue and the sponsorship of the Rolling Cyber Debate is not intended as an endorsement of any candidate.
About Web White & Blue 2000
Web White & Blue 2000 is a non-profit, non-partisan project of the Markle Foundation designed to highlight the potential of the Internet to expand and enhance citizen participation in our nation’s democratic process. Web White & Blue 2000 does not endorse or support candidates for public office and does not take positions on partisan or election related issues.
Web White & Blue 2000 has created a network comprised of the 17 largest Internet traffic centers which together reach 85% of the American Internet audience. Current Charter Participants include: ABCNEWS.com, America Online, CNN’s allpolitics.com, Excite, FOXNews.com, iVillage.com, Microsoft/MSN, MSNBC.com, MTV.com’s Choose or Lose, NetNoir.com, npr.org (National Public Radio Online), NYTimes.com, Oxygen Media, PBS Online, USATODAY.com, washingtonpost.com’s OnPolitics, Yahoo!. The Web White & Blue 2000 Web site, content syndication system, and debate technology platform have been developed by mindshare Internet Campaigns, LLC.