Social Media Catapults Texas Legislation Into Spotlight with #StandbyWendy


Texas Senator Wendy DavisLast night I joined over 180,000 people watching the YouTube livestream (hosted by the Texas Tribune) of Senator Wendy Davis‘s thirteen hour filibuster to prevent the passage of the most restrictive abortion law in the country.

Twitter was on fire with tweets about the filibuster with supporters using the hashtag #StandwithWendy. According to CNN, over 730,000 tweets were posted about the filibuster, culiminating around 11pm EST (midnight Texas time, and the time the filibuster would end) with over 5,700 tweets per minute.

Even President Obama tweeted about it.

When I finally went to bed at 1:30am EST, it was unclear if the bill had passed or not, but this morning Lt. Governor David Dewhurst admitted that the bill was dead but not until the Texas senate attempted to push the bill through after midnight. But with 180,000 watching live, that vote was finally declared invalid because Texas law prohibits any legislation being voted on after midnight.

Regardless of your stance on this issue (and I think it’s pretty clear how I feel about it if you were following my tweets last night), it’s clear that social media was the only outlet (other than some Texas papers) discussing this historic event. In fact, during the height of the reporting frenzy, much was made of the fact that CNN was showing a piece about blueberries muffins.

It was a brilliant moment in social media and captured how social media continues to change the playing field when it comes to politics.

Personally, my favorite moment came from Senator  Leticia Van de Putte, shared below. Did you watch? What did you think? Will social media continue to change the political game?

[videopost src=’ Leticia Van de Putte’ width=’640′ height=’400′]

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