H.R. 4263, The Social Media Working Group Act of 2014

H.R. 4263

The Social Media Working Group Act of 2014

July 8, 2014 (113th Congress, 2nd Session)

Staff Contact

Floor Situation

On Tuesday, July 8, 2014, the House will consider H.R. 4263, the Social Media Working Group Act of 2014, under suspension of the rules.  H.R. 4263 was introduced on March 14, 2014 by Rep. Susan Brooks (R-IN) and was referred to the House Homeland Security Committee.  The bill was marked up on June 11, 2014 and was ordered reported, as amended, by voice vote.[1]

[1] House Committee Report 113-480.

Bill Summary

H.R. 4263 authorizes and enhances the Department of Homeland Security’s Virtual Social Media Working Group to provide guidance and best practices on the use of social media before, during, and after a terrorist attack or other emergency.  The working group is to be comprised of a cross-section of subject matter experts from federal, state, local, tribal, and non-governmental organization practitioners.  Additional qualified individuals must also be appointed, including representatives from the private sector, law enforcement, fire services, emergency management services, public health entities, universities, and nonprofit disaster relief organizations.  H.R. 4263 requires the working group to submit an annual report on current and emerging trends, best practices, and recommendations on improving the use of social media for emergency management purposes.


As social media continues to permeate American society, first responders and disaster survivors are altering the way they communicate before, during, and after emergencies.  During recent disasters such as the Boston Marathon Bombings and Superstorm Sandy, the public increasingly turned to Facebook and Twitter for information.[2]  In light of this new reality, H.R. 4263 requires the Department of Homeland Security to analyze lessons learned, and begin to develop guidance and best practices for utilizing this emerging technology.

[2] Id. at 3,


According to CBO estimates, implementing H.R. 4263 would cost less than $500,000 each year.  The legislation would not affect direct spending or revenues.

Additional Information

For questions or further information contact the GOP Conference at 5-5107.