Congressmen finally allowed on YouTube

Congressmen can now use third-party sites, after both the House and the Senate recently approved new rules.

Members of Congress can finally use Web sites like YouTube, after committees in both the House and Senate adopted new rules allowing members to post content outside of the .gov domain, as long as it is for official purposes.

The House Rules Committee approved the change for the House of Representatives on Thursday, while the Senate Rules and Administration Committee adopted the new rules on September 19.

"In addition to their official ( Web site, a member may maintain another Web site(s), channel(s) or otherwise post material on third-party Web sites," the new House rules read. They also allow members to provide links to or embed outside content on their official sites, provided they include an exit notice indicating the visitor is leaving the House.

The Senate rules also allow for links to be added to official sites. They allow senators to use any third-party site of their choice, but the senators will have an "approved list" of sites for reference.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) called the change "a significant step forward toward bringing House rules into the multimedia age and allowing for members to effectively communicate with their constituents online."

Many members of Congress have, in spite of the rules, already been posting content to YouTube. Relying strictly on the official House and Senate sites can prove insufficient at times, as it did this week as Congress considered the bailout bill.

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