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Social Media Campaign Prompts Senate Action

Screenshot of #FOIA on Twitter

You may remember when we asked you to Tweet, Facebook, and call Senator Jay Rockefeller last December to ask him to lift his hold on the FOIA Improvement Act of 2014. The social media blitz campaign was a big, if not the biggest, reason the Senator’s staff agreed to work through their concerns about the bill before time ran out to get it out of the Senate. Unfortunately, in the end, the delay was too long to then get the bill through the House of Representatives.

However, this blog isn’t to go over old, disappointing news—rather we would like to highlight recently released documents, obtained by the media outlet MuckRock using the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), that detail the communications between the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Senator’s staff discussing the FOIA Improvement Act.

In these documents, it is clear that the social media campaign did its job and prompted action in the Senate. One of the emails, from a Senate staffer to an FTC employee simply says: “Go to #FOIA on Twitter and check it out.”

Take a look at the documents for yourself, and remember them the next time it feels like no one on Capitol Hill is listening to you—they’re hearing us even if they don’t acknowledge it.

By: Elizabeth "Liz" Hempowicz
Policy Counsel, POGO

Photograph of Elizabeth Liz Hempowicz is Policy Counsel for the Project On Government Oversight.

Topics: Open Government

Related Content: FOIA

Authors: Elizabeth "Liz" Hempowicz

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