Facebook Live Will Host its First Political Debate in Australia

June 7, 2016, 7:57 PM UTC
Photograph by Michael Dodge Getty Images

Facebook Live is about to open a new chapter in Australian politics. The live video streaming service from Facebook (FB) will be used to air an upcoming debate between Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Bill Shorten, the leader of the Labor Party.

News.com.au will host the debate in partnership with the streaming service, the news organization announced Tuesday.

Turnbull requested that a debate be held via Facebook Live, and Shorten accepted the offer in lieu of one of three previously scheduled live debates, according to Mashable. Although there’s currently no date yet for the streamed debate, it could come as early as next week. The election will take place on July 2.

“This is the most exciting time to be an Australian and to participate in an election debate in the media of our time,” Turnbull said on Tuesday.

“I’m happy to debate Mr. Turnbull anytime, anywhere,” said Shorten to news.com.au.

“These are the platforms that many people, many would say most Australians, see most of their media on, most of their news, and I think it’s important that we have an innovative election and that we use the platforms that Australians use,” Turnbull added in an interview with news.com.au.


There have already been two debates held ahead of Australia’s upcoming election, the first at the Sky News People’s Forum in Sydney and the second at the National Press Club.

Facebook has been focusing on video and live content in recent months, as Fortune reported in April, with CEO Mark Zuckerberg calling the platform the way of the future. The company is even reportedly paying content creators, including celebrities and media outlets, to use the product.

Fortune has reached out to Facebook for comment and we will update this story if we hear back.

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