Records Shed New Light on Trump White House Officials’ Efforts to Punish Social Media

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Within a day of Twitter fact-checking President Donald Trump’s May 2020 false tweets about mail-in voting, federal officials began trying to find out how much government agencies spent to advertise on social media. This inquiry was likely part of a planned effort to cut that funding, according to records released last month.

The records, released to EFF and the Center for Democracy & Technology as part of a joint FOIA lawsuit, add additional details to the timeline before Trump issued his unconstitutional Executive Order retaliating against online social media services for moderating his posts. President Joseph R. Biden revoked the order in May.

Although Trump’s Executive Order is no longer in effect, the new documents show the lengths officials within the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) went to as part of an unconstitutional effort to leverage the federal government’s spending power to punish platforms for exercising their First Amendment rights to moderate Trump’s speech.

A day before Trump issued the order on May 28, 2020,

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