The Environmental Protection Agency violated publicity or propaganda and anti-lobbying provisions with its use of certain social media in its efforts to promote the Waters of the United States rule in fiscal years 2014 and 2015. This is according to a ruling by the Government Accountability Office.
According to GAO, “Specifically, EPA violated the publicity or propaganda prohibition though its use of a platform known as Thunderclap that allows a single message to be shared across multiple Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr accounts at the same time. EPA engaged in covert propaganda when the agency did not identify EPA's role as the creator of the Thunderclap message to the target audience.”
American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman said in a statement, “Courts already have declared serious doubts about the legal authority for the rule. Now that it has become clear that the agency used illegal tactics to manufacture ill-informed support for the rule, Congress should act immediately to prohibit implementation of this rule, which is the product of an unlawful and misguided process.”
The GAO report was requested by Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK), chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.