The EPA, Social Media and Politics

06 January 2016 Publication
Authors: Peter Vogel

E-Commerce Times

Before the Internet, messages were spread by television and newspaper ads and highway billboards. Today that is done through social media. Virtually everyone knows about it, and many people use it. Does it make any sense that a U.S. government agency could violate any laws for using social media to carry out its mission?

Doesn't make sense to me. However, last month, the U.S. Government Accountability Office ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency violated federal law and took part in covert propaganda by using social media to solicit support for an Obama administration rule aimed at protecting streams and surface waters.

Having followed the EPA for many years, I have always thought that the point of the agency is to help protect the environment for future generations. Using social media to help protect the nation's streams and surface waters seems to make a lot of sense, particularly since the EPA's website states that its mission is to protect health and the environment.

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