Social Media

The COVFEFE Act Would Stop Trump From Deleting Tweets

Even Congress is trolling Trump, but the bill is serious

Social Media
Illustration: Diana Quach
Jun 12, 2017 at 5:37 PM ET

What started as a typo, and quickly turned into an online joke, is now a bill at Congress. Democratic Rep. Mike Quigley of Illinois introduced a bill dubbed the COVFEFE ACT to include preservation of the president’s social media records as part of the Presidential Records Act of 1978. That would mean that all posts from presidential posts from Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter would be part of the National Archives.

The COVFEFE Act stands for Communication Over Various Feeds Electronically for Engagement Act, but it’s a jab at President Trump’s Twitter typo last month, “Despite the constant negative press covfefe.” The tweet was deleted, but not before it inspired tons of jokes for other social media users, late night show hosts, and even coffee shop boards. The COVFEFE Act would forbid Trump from deleting any of his tweets — so his rants would live on forever.

“President Trump’s frequent, unfiltered use of his personal Twitter account as a means of official communication is unprecedented,” Quigley stated in a statement, according to The Hill. “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. Tweets are powerful, and the President must be held accountable for every post.”

This is not the first time Quigley uses an acronym to take jabs at Trump. In March, he helped introduce the MAR-A-LAGO bill, also known as the Make Access Records Available to Lead American Government Openness Act, which would make Trump’s administration publicly release visitor logs for the White House or anywhere else the President conducts business. The bill was a jab at Trump’s Florida resort dubbed “the winter White House.”

The COVFEFE Act shows just how much government is behind in holding public figures accountable for what is shared online. In 2013, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission officially considered Twitter and Facebook as valid public disclosure sources for executives and brands to share company information. The National Archives already qualifies social media posts from Trump as presidential records, but the problem is that it’s still not a law and he can get away with modifying those records.