The House of Representatives took to Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) live streaming app Periscope as a tool to market their campaign for gun control on Wednesday.
The Democrats initiated a sit-in to air out their views on gun control citing the Orlando massacre, and the session was streamed via Periscope after House leaders decided to prohibit C-SPAN cameras. Some Democrats that participated in the demonstration decided to take matters into their own hands and started streaming the events through Periscope. Twitter took notice and created a unique channel to make it easier for people to follow the event.
The protests erupted on Wednesday morning following remarks made by Georgia Representative John Lewis arguing that Congress had not done enough to prevent gun violence. He led his fellow politicians to sit down on the floor until the chamber allowed a vote on the matter to take place. For this reason, the C-SPAN cameras were turned away.
A few Democratic congress members saw that there was another way to show the events to the world, and they used their handsets to broadcast the event through Periscope. Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) streaming service Facebook Live was also used by at least one person. Democrats have reported that the sit-in will remain in place until the House agrees to a vote on legislation that proposes tight restrictions on the sale of firearms to suspected terrorists. The Senate recently voted for similar bills. Republicans argue that the definition of suspected terrorist is very loose and restricting the sale of firearms to private citizens is unconstitutional and a government power grab.
The Democrats maintained their stand in the afternoon session where cameras were briefly allowed. The GOP saw that they would not be moved and called for a recess, and the cameras were once gain shut off. C-SPAN had to take up streams from Periscope to air them live. The efforts of the GOP to hide the event may have in fact led to an escalation of the matter, making it more publicized.