Lawmakers hail Facebook milestone as proof of digital media's 'unlimited' potential

Facebook announced last Thursday it now has in excess of 1 billion active users on the site each month, an increase of 45 million users since July. 

ADVERTISEMENT
Some of the highest-ranking Republicans and Democrats in Congress issued statements greeting the news as evidence of how digital media is transforming the way people interact with each other.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said that if she could, she would tell every Facebook user to transfer their online engagement into activism outside the digital realm.

"[It] means we have the power to change the world we live in," Pelosi said.

"If I could communicate to all of them, my message would be to take some time to translate your online engagement into offline activism, go vote, run for office or serve your community."

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said the news is important for the power 1 billion users have to solve a problem.

"What problems can one billion individuals solve by working together? I am working hard to ensure Americans have access to good paying jobs and quality education so our children’s future can be brighter than ours," Reid said. "With one billion strong, we can work to ensure everyone has opportunities to thrive."

Similarly, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said the 1 billion users have an "unprecedented potential to share ideas."

"One billion means more than simply serving as a new way to share the latest meme; it is the unprecedented potential to share ideas, think differently about big challenges and work together on real solutions," Cantor said. "The freedom of expression and assembly is one of humanity’s greatest forces for good."

Other legislators contacted by The Hill gave similar responses, saying 1 billion Facebook users can come up with innovative ideas that improve government or change the world.