C-SPAN Broadcasts Periscope, Facebook Streams After Republicans Cut Off TV Cameras

This has never happened before.

House Republicans learned an important lesson Wednesday: It's hard to keep a lid on information in the smartphone era.

Shortly after Democrats began a sit-in at the House chamber to call for gun control, Rep. Ted Poe (R-Texas) declared a recess -- causing the cameras that normally feed live footage to C-SPAN to shut down instead.

Undeterred, the network switched to footage broadcast by Rep. Scott Peters (D-Calif.) via Periscope, a smartphone app that allows anyone to live stream video of their surroundings.

Periscope quickly created a channel dedicated to the event, allowing its users to easily access the footage:

And the company's CEO, Kayvon Beykpour, took a dig at Facebook Live's "Chewbacca Mom" in a tweet gloating about the situation:

But minutes later, the Periscope feed ended and C-SPAN actually did shift to Facebook Live:

Howard Mortman, head of communications at C-SPAN, told The Huffington Post that this is the first time the network has used live streaming apps like this.

"We’ve incorporated Periscope into our coverage of past events, but not [like] this," Mortman told HuffPost.

Before 2015, when Periscope and other live streaming platforms became widely available, the camera shutdown would have meant that the public couldn't see the protest at the House -- or how their elected officials responded to it.

That's not the case anymore.

In what now seems like a prophetic statement, Bloomberg's Mark Halperin told HuffPost last year that live streaming apps would represent a sea change for political media.

“These apps are achieving the dream of consumers being able to watch live political events themselves without delay or commentary,” Halperin said at the time. “We are all C-SPAN now.”

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