From social media to online video, the Trump administration is adopting a new policy that would let government workers and contractors use their personal social media accounts to promote their government work or businesses.
The directive was released Wednesday by White House press secretary Sean Spicer, but it is only one piece of a broader effort to rein in government employees and contractors who use their private social media platforms to promote government projects and jobs.
Social media has been a contentious issue in Washington and across the country.
Many social media users have expressed frustration with the Trump White House, with some arguing that it does not fully grasp the importance of using social media.
But social media is also a tool that can help people with diverse backgrounds and views to communicate and connect.
In a statement, Spicer said that the new policy will “encourage all federal government employees to use the platform of their choice to communicate with the public.”
Spicer said the new rules will apply to government employees, contractors and subcontractors and will apply retroactively to the previous administration, which launched the directive in December.
The new policy “sets a clear goal for social media that we will strive to achieve as we strive to make sure our government is focused on the issues it is tasked with serving,” Spicer said.
Spicer did not give a timeline for how long the new policies will last or the exact number of government workers that will be able to use social media, saying only that it will be in place “until we are assured that it is working.”
The Trump administration has faced backlash from conservatives who say it is too close to the executive branch.
It has also come under fire from the social media giants, which argue that the social sharing restrictions have been a boon for the platforms.
The White House said the social-media directive is a response to “legislative requests from the public and Congress for greater transparency, accountability and engagement with federal government.”
Some federal workers have used social media in the past.
The new policy has not changed that.
The administration has not publicly said how many federal workers will be affected by the new directives.
The Trump White, however, has pushed back on critics, including some in Congress, saying the new guidelines will have little impact on the millions of federal workers who use social-sharing services on a daily basis.
The government, however the new directive is set to begin rolling out on Oct. 1, 2019, said a White House official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the White House was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly.
Social-media is not a new issue for the Trump Administration.
Last month, the administration signed a memorandum directing agencies to make clear that federal workers cannot use their own personal social networks to promote federal projects or jobs.
The memo said the guidance will be implemented in phases, starting with the agencies that do the most public-facing work.
It also requires agencies to implement a “social-media policy and procedures” for all government workers.
Social networking services are increasingly becoming the platform for public expression and collaboration across government, including between government agencies.
They are a key tool for federal workers and many businesses, such as health insurers and universities, to communicate about issues and to share information about their programs.
The issue of social media has sparked controversy in Congress.
Last year, House Republicans voted to ban federal contractors from using social-networking services to promote jobs.
The House passed a measure banning the use of social-network accounts to disseminate government-related information.
The House bill did not have enough votes to pass the Senate, where Democrats hold a majority in the chamber.