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House Democrats held a sit-in on Wednesday to demand a vote on gun control in Congress. Cameras were shut off early on into the protest, which led C-SPAN and anyone following the event to turn to social feeds, including Periscope and Facebook Live, to watch the play-by-play.
The protest, which lasted more than 24 hours, inspired a social media following under #NoBillNoBreak as representatives brought out sleeping bags and ordered pizza going late into the night on Wednesday and into Thursday morning. Live streams on Periscope and Facebook kept viewers in tune with the speeches and updates throughout.
According to a post by Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg on Thursday, 19 House members live-streamed the event using Facebook Live, and those feeds have been viewed more than 3 million times. On Twitter, C-SPAN and #NoBillNoBreak were trending throughout the night.
“Live is unfiltered and real,” Zuckerberg said in the post. “And it’s bringing us moments we wouldn’t see otherwise — from birthday parties to locker room celebrations to late-night sessions in the United States Capitol.”
Periscope saw a similar uptick in usage, with House broadcasts being seen more than 1 million times after the platform created a channel in the app for users to easily find the protesters using Periscope to stream the event.
“Everyone is carrying around a smartphone,” said Periscope senior engineer Aaron Wasserman. “Why shouldn’t we democratize people’s ability to speech and broadcast and share their stories? Yesterday, it happened to be people who normally have a voice that was taken away when they restricted broadcast equipment.”
See Zuckerberg’s full Facebook post below.
June 23, 4:30 p.m. PT: Updated to include Periscope stats.
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