Friday, February 17, 2017

Unlike other federal agencies, EPA has not posted on social media since Trump took office

Screen shot today of EPA Twitter account
The Environmental Protection Agency has not posted on social media since President Trump took office, Chelsea Harvey reports for The Washington Post. Nothing has been posted on EPA's official Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts since Jan. 19, the day before Trump was sworn in. An EPA spokesperson said the agency won't post anything until a new agency head has been confirmed, but other departments that lack a confirmed leader have continued to post to social media. (Today the Senate confirmed Scott Pruitt, who as Oklahoma attorney general sued EPA several times, as administrator of the agency, which issued a welcoming tweet.)

"Last month’s media restrictions were instituted by Trump administration officials within days of the inauguration," Harvey writes. "The order instructed employees of the EPA, along with other agencies, to restrict their communications with the public via news releases and official social-media accounts. A memo to EPA staff members, sent on Jan. 23, noted that a digital strategist would be coming on board to oversee social-media accounts, some of which it said may become 'more centrally controlled'.”

Other agencies "resumed social-media activity almost immediately and have gone on tweeting as usual," Harvey writes. "But nearly all the EPA’s social-media accounts have been silent since Jan. 19. A small group of satellite accounts, including Twitter accounts for a few regional EPA offices and the EPA’s Office of Water, continued to tweet for a few more days following the Jan. 20 inauguration, but also fell silent before the end of the month. The agency has continued to issue news releases on its website."

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