Dev

Facebook takes its hacker army to Washington, DC, for a Congressional hackathon

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Facebook is hosting its first-ever Congressional Facebook Developer Hackathon in the Capitol building in three weeks.

Interested developers and other parties can register for the event now.

Attendees of the bi-partisan event will include members of Congress, their staffers, developers and other tech-minded types. These folks will be hacking together for four hours “to explore the potential connections between legislative data, constituent correspondence and social media,” said Facebook today in a release.

On December 7, House majority leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) and minority whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) will host the event from 3:30 pm to 7:30 pm Eastern Time in the Capitol Visitors Center in Washington, D.C.

Hoyer said in a statement, “Americans have a right to petition government, and new online technologies are giving that right exciting new possibilities.”

Hoyer continued to say that members of Congress should “embrace these technologies to make the legislative process as open and accessible as possible.

“We welcome the help and advice of industry leaders like Facebook, as well as individuals and academics who have innovative ideas on how to do so.”

Over the past year, Facebook and Congress have been working at opposite ends of the same problem: using technologies to safely and securely allow more room online for various aspects of the democratic process. While the event itself will be brief and not every interested developer might be able to attend, the hackathon represents the ability of any good hacker with a great idea to have a huge impact on our government and legislation.

“As social media increasingly plays a central role in all areas of our everyday life, it is essential that Congress fully incorporate these platforms into its daily operations,” Cantor said in the same statement.

“Software developers, designers and program engineers have a unique opportunity to help us improve the legislative process resulting in more citizen engagement, and we are very excited about working together and getting started.”