Facebook to help Congress expand online reach

Nov 17, 2011
US House Minority Whip Representative Steny Hoyer, pictured in March 2011. Leaders of the Republican and Democratic parties in the US Congress are reaching out to Facebook to help develop online tools to connect with their constituents.

Leaders of the Republican and Democratic parties in the US Congress are reaching out to Facebook to help develop online tools to connect with their constituents.

They announced plans on Thursday to host a "hackathon" next month featuring members of Congress, their staffers, developers and others.

The first-ever "Congressional Facebook Developer Hackathon," to be held on December 7, will "explore the potential connections between legislative data, constituent correspondence, and social media," the Republican and Democratic leaders of the House of Representatives said in a statement.

"Americans have a right to petition government, and new online technologies are giving that right exciting new possibilities," said Steny Hoyer, leader of the Democratic minority in the House.

" have a duty to embrace these technologies to make the legislative process as open and accessible as possible," Hoyer said. "We welcome the help and advice of industry leaders like Facebook, as well as individuals and academics who have innovative ideas on how to do so."

Eric Cantor, leader of the Republican majority in the House, said with social media playing a larger role, "it is essential that Congress fully incorporate these platforms into its daily operations.

", designers and program engineers have a unique opportunity to help us improve the legislative process resulting in more citizen engagement," Cantor said. "We are very excited about working together and getting started."

The use of social media by the US Congress has exploded over the past few years and most members now have Facebook, or accounts in addition to websites.

Explore further: Japan court orders Facebook to reveal revenge porn IP addresses

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

US Congress embracing social media: report

Jul 27, 2011

Democrats and Republicans in Congress may be split over how to deal with the US debt and a host of other issues but they are united when it comes to social media.

Republicans top Democrats with Facebook fans

Oct 31, 2010

Republicans will have to wait until Tuesday to find out if they make the big gains many expect in the US Congress but they have already beaten the Democrats in another arena -- Facebook.

New Republican Party 2.0 website unveiled

Oct 13, 2009

The Republican Party launched a redesigned website Tuesday with a heavy emphasis on the social media tools that Democrat Barack Obama used so effectively to win the last presidential election.

Republicans to whip up support with Blackberry app

Oct 29, 2009

The Republican leadership in the US House of Representatives unveiled a free application for the Blackberry on Thursday to keep users up to date on the latest in Congress through their cellphones.

Recommended for you

Twitter looks to weave into more mobile apps

2 hours ago

Twitter on Wednesday set out to weave itself into mobile applications with a free "Fabric" platform to help developers build better programs and make more money.

Google unveils app for managing Gmail inboxes

4 hours ago

Google is introducing an application designed to make it easier for its Gmail users to find and manage important information that can often become buried in their inboxes.

Fighting cyber-crime one app at a time

9 hours ago

This summer Victoria University of Wellington will be home to four Singaporean students researching cyber threats. The students have been working with Dr Ian Welch, a lecturer in Victoria's School of Engineering and Computer ...

Is big data heading for its 'horsemeat moment'?

11 hours ago

There have been so many leaks, hacks and scares based on misuse or misappropriation of personal data that any thought that "big data" could provide benefits rather than only opportunities for harm may be ...

User comments : 0