Twitter Afrenzy as Senator Davis Kills Bill at the 11th Hour

Democratic Senator Wendy Davis went on a filibuster at the Texas Senate in Austin which lasted over 11 hours. She was intent on blocking an abortion bill which would prevent abortions beginning 20 weeks. Although Davis is barely mentioned by the media, the 50-year-old senator finally picked up the limelight as social media users started commenting about the filibuster on the night of June 25, 2013. The trend continued to do well on Twitter until close to midnight, with 5,776 tweets per minute. Even President Obama?s account chimed in and tweeted that there is something special going on in Austin together with a Texas Tribune link several hours into the filibuster. There were several hashtags made regarding the topic such as #standwithwendy and #SB5. #standwithwendy garnered 400,000 mentions. Davis also has a Twitter account which grew significantly from 6,000 to 48,000 followers within the day. YouTube also generated a lot of viewers by live streaming the special senate session.?There were over 180,000 users who watched the live stream and more were viewing when Davis committed the third violation, spurring a vote to decide if she should continue or stop. The senate rules regarding such procedures are quite strict. The ?senator was prohibited from straying off topic, sitting or leaning or go on a bathroom break during the filibuster. SB5 or Senate Bill 5 aimed to prohibit abortions after women reach 20 weeks of pregnancy. Davis and other senators who opposed the bill said that it would be detrimental to 37 of the 42 abortion clinics in Texas. Clinics would have to adjust or close down. For reference, here are the other hashtags that figured significantly on social media. Twitter became a rally point for Texan protesters, including pro-life supporters. By midnight many were already chanting at the senate. The whole strategy worked, however, as the bill was killed by the 11th hour literally.

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