The COVFEFE Act to preserve President's Tweets

The COVFEFE Act to preserve President's Tweets

Postby seamas o dalaigh » Tue Jun 13, 2017 1:48 am

US President Donald Trump's tweets could be preserved as presidential records if a Democratic Party politician's proposed COVFEFE Act becomes law.

Representative Mike Quigley of Illinois introduced the "Communications Over Various Feeds Electronically For Engagement" Act that would amend the Presidential Records Act and require the National Archives to store presidential tweets and other social media interactions.



http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-06-13/c ... ts/8613964

"If the President is going to take to social media to make sudden public policy proclamations, we must ensure that these statements are documented and preserved for future reference," Mr Quigley, a member of the House intelligence committee, said in a statement.

"Tweets are powerful, and the President must be held accountable for every post," he said.

The law would bar the prolifically tweeting president from deleting his posts, as he has sometimes done.

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Re: The COVFEFE Act to preserve President's Tweets

Postby Rose West » Tue Jun 13, 2017 12:53 pm

That's a knife that will cut in both directions eventually.

It's not the worst idea I ever heard.
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Re: The COVFEFE Act to preserve President's Tweets

Postby seamas o dalaigh » Tue Jun 13, 2017 7:43 pm

Rose,

I take it Mr Quigley is being teasingly facetious.

In one of his essays (it was the 1970s) Gore Vidal was lamenting that nobody writes letters any more and everyone uses the phone. He was reflecting on the fact that this would be a serious loss for students of literature of the future. He finished by saying, "Can you imagine anyone listening to The Collected Telephone Calls of Truman Capote?"
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Re: The COVFEFE Act to preserve President's Tweets

Postby Rose West » Tue Jun 13, 2017 8:05 pm

I don't know how seriously Mr. Quigley expects anyone else to take it, but I believe he actually filed the bill or intends to file the bill.

If Tweets and similar communications are treated as official and were kept and archived as such, it would be difficult to devolve into some of the "the President said..." conversations that happen around here. It would be part of the official record and we could go back and look at it.
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Re: The COVFEFE Act to preserve President's Tweets

Postby seamas o dalaigh » Tue Jun 13, 2017 8:20 pm

Rose,

But tweets are, by their very nature, ephemeral. It would be like making a record of Trump's every burp at the dinner table. (Actually, come to think of it, that's pretty much what did happen with Martin Luther - his Table Talk.)

Emails are another matter entirely (especially emails on unsecured accounts and servers).
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Re: The COVFEFE Act to preserve President's Tweets

Postby Rose West » Tue Jun 13, 2017 11:34 pm

Yes, for most people, tweets would probably be uninstructive, but in this case, much of his style of encountering/speaking to the people has been through Twitter, so a complete record is appropriate in this case and therefore will not be inappropriate in the future. Sort of like this Holy Father's little daily Mass homilies. Under previous popes they weren't that important, but much of Pope Francis's Magisterium will probably end up in those smallish comments and commentaries.

OTOH, given the ephemeral nature of social media platforms, the law they pass will need to be open ended concerning what platform, or will need to have an expiration/renewal date, like some other laws in the US have.
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