Legislation to establish Department of Homeland Security standards for emergency responses on social media during terrorist attacks passed in the House on Tuesday.

Passed 375-19, the bill would create a working group within DHS to provide guidance on the use of social media before, during and after terrorist attacks. 


Rep. Susan BrooksSusan Wiant BrooksWomen poised to take charge in Dem majority Hillicon Valley: Officials pressed on Russian interference at security forum | FCC accuses Sinclair of deception | Microsoft reveals Russia tried to hack three 2018 candidates | Trump backs Google in fight with EU | Comcast gives up on Fox bid Press shuts out lawmakers to win congressional softball game MORE (R-Ind.), the bill's sponsor, said it was necessary for the federal government to determine how to use social media, like Twitter and Facebook, most effectively to communicate with citizens.

"Social media is transforming the way the nation responds before, during and after a terrorist attack," Brooks said.

Rep. Donald Payne Jr. (D-N.J.) gave examples of the use of social media among Americans during events like the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings or Hurricane Sandy. For instance, some Bostoners created a Google document to let people participating in the marathon who were unable to return to their hotels know that their homes were open.

"The Internet has changed the world," Payne said.

The measure would also require the group to submit an annual report to Congress that includes a review of current social media technologies used to support emergency preparedness and response activities and recommendations to DHS on its use of social media in such situations.