January 23, 2022

Roundup: “Trump Silences Government Scientists with Gag Orders”

UPDATED 6:30 PM “Information Lockdown Hits Trump’s Federal Agencies” (via Politico)
Approx. 2000 word article.

Federal agencies are clamping down on public information and social media in the early days of Donald Trump’s presidency, limiting employees’ ability to issue news releases, tweet or otherwise communicate with the outside world, according to memos and sources from multiple agencies.

From The Verge:

Less than a week after the inauguration, the Trump administration has already gagged employees at two federal agencies. Memos obtained by various media outlets show that scientists at the Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Agriculture are now blocked from communicating with the public and the press.

Read the Complete Article From The Verge


The U.S. Department of Agriculture said on Tuesday that an internal email sent to staff at its Agricultural Research Service unit this week calling for a suspension of “public-facing documents,” including news releases and photos, was flawed and that new guidance would be issued to replace it.


It said peer-reviewed scientific papers from the unit should not be blocked. “ARS values and is committed to maintaining the free flow of information between our scientists and the American public.”

More Reports

“Starting immediately and until further notice, [the Agricultural Research Service] will not release any public-facing documents. This includes, but is not limited to, news releases, photos, fact sheets, news feeds, and social media content,” wrote ARS chief Sharon Drumm in an email to employees.

The Trump administration reportedly told the Department of the Interior to stop tweeting from its accounts over the weekend after the National Park Service’s Twitter account retweeted a post about the crowd sizes at Trump’s inauguration Friday. The agency brought back its accounts on Saturday.

SHARE YOUR VIEWS re: USDA with Members of the United States Senate Committee on Agriculture,
Nutrition, & Forestry & U.S. House Committee on Agriculture.


About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.