State Department Monitor Employees’ Social Media

Book approval could take up to 30 days

Peter Van Buren /


The State Department is set to implement a new social media policy that grants officials two full days to review potential tweets from employees and five days to sign off on a blog post, according to reports.

The new regulations were created in the wake of a scandal involving former Foreign Service officer Peter Van Buren, who penned a tell-all book that portrayed the department in an unflattering light.

"The drafted new rules apparently will cover public speaking, teaching, writing, and media engagement," the website Diplopundit recently reported. "While it appears the new version is yet in a draft stage, it sounds like a tighter institutional CYA [Cover Your Ass] version."

The new social media policy would also permit officials to review books such as Van Buren’s for up to 30 days, according to the report, which was later picked up by the Washington Post.

"We understand that it [the new rules] covers just about everything except sign language," Diplopundit wrote.

State Department deputy spokesman Mark Toner told the Post that the updates are aimed at accounting for "the dynamic and decentralized nature of the 21st century information environment."

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