'Rogue' National Parks Twitter accounts posting climate change information after official one shut down

Official accounts are sharing global warming facts, apparently in defiance of the Trump administration's ban on such posts

Andrew Griffin
Wednesday 25 January 2017 12:51 GMT
A tourist takes a picture of Mount Rushmore National Memorial from outside the park on October 1, 2013 in Keystone, South Dakota
A tourist takes a picture of Mount Rushmore National Memorial from outside the park on October 1, 2013 in Keystone, South Dakota (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

The Trump administration's apparent attempt to stop the National Parks Service from sharing information about climate change appears to have backfired.

Official accounts are now sharing information and posts about global warming, which are being retweeted quickly across the internet. And now "rogue" accounts are being set up to replace those that have been banned from sharing such information.

The disagreement began when the official account at @NatlParkService retweeted comments about the true size of Donald Trump's inaugural crowds. The account then went offline, though it has come back without the tweets.

Then the official account for the Badlands National Park in South Dakota posted information about the scientific facts of climate change, including a series of datapoints that proved that the world is getting warmer. Those tweets were then deleted too, with officials claiming that they had been posted by a "former employee" who wasn't supposed to be using the account.

The apparent silencing and censorship of the two accounts is in line with what seems to be official policy from the Trump administration. Officials at a range of organisations including the Environmental Protection Agency have received orders telling them not to post any information at all publicly, and the EPA has also been told to delete all climate change information from its website.

Mr Trump has said that he doesn't believe in climate change, arguing that it is a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese to make business uncompetitive, despite the opinion of every major scientific body that is now under his control.

That has led to a backlash from both official accounts and "rogue" accounts that have been set up – and claim to be run by real National Parks staff in their spare time – both of which have been tweeting climate change information and data.

Days before Mr Trump was inaugurated, the Golden Gate park's account tweeted an image of Martin Luther King Jr, accompanied by a quote about resistance. It didn't make any explicit reference to the new administration.

Tweets using information from Nasa and NOAA have been posted by official National Parks Service accounts since Mr Trump has taken office. All of the notable ones have been retweeted thousands of times.

Those tweets have been joined by other popular ones from an account calling itself the "alternative" US National Parks Service. That account claims to be run by real National Parks staff as a "resistance" effort, according to its bio on Twitter.

The people behind it said that they would use the account to keep posting information from organisations that had been gagged.

Official Nasa accounts have also been posting global warming data. It isn't clear if that agency has been officially gagged by the Trump administration.

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