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MySpace to host college campus presidential town halls

Social-networking site to enable users at home to watch a Webcast, send instant-message questions to candidates. announced on Thursday that it will be hosting a series of so-called town hall events with many of the candidates who are vying for nomination in the 2008 U.S. presidential primaries.

The events are to be held on college campuses from September through December and will each feature one candidate. Viewers of the event Webcast will be able to submit their own questions through MySpace's instant-messaging client.

Republican candidates participating in the town hall series include Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback, former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani, California Rep. Duncan Hunter, Texas Rep. Ron Paul, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, former Wisconsin governor Tommy Thompson and Arizona Sen. John McCain, whose MySpace campaign page was embarrassingly pranked earlier this year.

The Democratic candidates include New York Sen. Hillary Clinton, Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd, former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards, Illinois Sen. Barack Obama and New Mexico governor Bill Richardson.

This is not the first step MySpace has made toward making its young user base politically aware and active through its Impact channel. Last month, the News Corp.-owned social-networking site announced that it would be hosting a mock presidential election early in 2008.

MySpace has also announced plans to collaborate with reality TV guru Mark Burnett (creator of Survivor and The Apprentice) on Independent, a new program that uses both television and the Web to discover budding political minds.