AP NEWS

Govt agency won’t release data after profane Trump tweet

February 22, 2018

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina’s public health agency on Thursday refused to release details about a profanity-laced message posted from its official Twitter account criticizing President Donald Trump in the wake of last week’s school shooting that left 17 dead in Florida.

A tweet posted Wednesday afternoon from the Department of Health and Environmental Control’s official account called Trump a “tool,” modified by an expletive and had #ParklandStudentsSpeak attached. Since the shooting, students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, have spoken out in favor of gun control.

The department has since taken down the tweet and apologized, saying in a subsequent tweet that it was investigating.

Agency spokesman Tim Kelly told The State newspaper that about a dozen employees should have access to the account but doesn’t think any of them were responsible.

Twitter records the previous 40 logins and IP addresses of a user’s account, which can be accessed easily in the account’s settings menu. Asked Thursday by The Associated Press for if the agency had checked those logins, to see if there had been unauthorized usage at the time the tweet was sent, Kelly refused to answer questions or elaborate further on what happened.

The AP has submitted an open-records request for a list of employees with access to the account, as well as copies of its login history and a copy of the agency’s social media use policies.

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Kinnard can be reached on Twitter at http://twitter.com/MegKinnardAP . Read more of her work at https://apnews.com/search/meg%20kinnard.

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