Rogue fun? Parody govt Twitter accounts multiply, defying Trump’s alleged ban
After several posts about President Donald Trump from government agency Twitter accounts were deleted, a number of “rogue” parody accounts were created.
After Trump’s inauguration, the official Twitter account for the National Park Service (NPS) retweeted two posts, one that showed the difference in crowd size between former US President Barack Obama’s inauguration in 2009 and Trump’s, and another that linked to an article on webpages removed from the White House website.
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The retweets from the NPS account were quickly taken down, along with similar tweets from other government accounts.
Badlands National Park also had tweets taken down after they posted statistics on climate change. Meanwhile, several government Twitter accounts stopped tweeting all together.
These climate tweets by @BadlandsNPS have now been deleted. pic.twitter.com/FR1ejcMall— Nathan Rott (@NathanRott) January 24, 2017
Until further notice, all park road condition updates will provided on the Mount Rainier Facebook page https://t.co/JwFuETkGnM.— MountRainierNPS (@MountRainierNPS) January 20, 2017
The Twitter account for the NPS posted a tweet apologizing for the “mistaken RTs.”
We regret the mistaken RTs from our account yesterday and look forward to continuing to share the beauty and history of our parks with you pic.twitter.com/mctNNvlrmv— NationalParkService (@NatlParkService) January 21, 2017
Gizmodo reportedly obtained an internal email sent to National Park employees, in which Washington ordered the NPS to “immediately cease use of government Twitter accounts until further notice.”
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On Wednesday, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer denied that the Trump administration issued a ban on tweets from the NPS, saying: “There’s nothing that’s come from the White House, absolutely not.”
Since then, no government Twitter accounts have posted or retweeted any anti-Trump messages. On Tuesday afternoon, however, a “rogue” Twitter account for the NPS was created, posting tweets about censorship, climate change, and other issues that appear to go against the Trump administration’s policies.
Can't wait for President Trump to call us FAKE NEWS.— AltUSNatParkService (@AltNatParkSer) January 25, 2017
You can take our official twitter, but you'll never take our free time!
The rogue account for the NPS gathered 600,000 followers one day after it launched, and was followed by the creation of other rogue accounts.
Using names that are similar to government agencies, like “AltFDA,” “Rogue NASA,” and “NatlParksUnderground,” and hashtags like #resist #NotAlternativeFacts, and #LockHimUp, these accounts call themselves parody accounts, and only post political tweets.
How sad is it that government employees have to create rogue Twitter accounts just to communicate FACTS to the American public?— Rogue NASA (@RogueNASA) January 25, 2017
2 days without a post on our main social accounts. We would like to bring you great news about food & drugs but...— AltFDA (@alt_fda) January 25, 2017
Fill in the blank.. "Political censorship of scientific material is ___." https://t.co/o1zZq0wN1f— AltUSForestService (@AltForestServ) January 25, 2017
Download as many facts as you can from https://t.co/03qtaQsks6 and https://t.co/INmVB1YNsB now before they disappear.— AltNWS (@AlternativeNWS) January 25, 2017
Scientists project that Global Warming will be real again in 2020....🤦♂️ @AltNatParkSer— AltMountRainierNPS (@AltMtRainierNPS) January 26, 2017
The mere existence of a "Vaccine Review Committee" would represent a serious threat to global public health. https://t.co/zivMoLTNXr— Alternative CDC (@Alt_CDC) January 25, 2017
The intellectual equivalent of having kindergarteners grade an @MIT thesis. #AlternativePeerReview#science@ActualEPAFactshttps://t.co/GeBAjVwBuk— BadHombreLands NPS (@BadHombreNPS) January 25, 2017
This account is not maintained by any EPA employees and will only distribute information obtained from legitimate but anonymized EPA sources— altEPA (@altUSEPA) January 25, 2017
Under the parody rules of Twitter’s help center, accounts cannot use the same account name as a verified account, and bios need to state that the account is not real. Accounts also must not violate trademark or impersonation rules.