Following a new Trump directive mandating that all EPA research must undergo "political review" prior to release, a number of anonymous employees from more than a dozen U.S. government agencies have established a network of unofficial "rogue" Twitter feeds in defiance of what they see as attempts to censor federal climate change research and other science. Seizing on Trump's favorite mode of discourse, scientists at the Environmental Protection Agency, NASA and other bureaus have privately launched Twitter accounts - borrowing names and logos of their agencies - to protest restrictions they view as censorship and provide unfettered platforms for information the new administration has curtailed.
The movement seems to be inspired by an incident we noted a couple of days ago in which a "rogue" employee of the Badlands National Park posted a series of tweets on climate change that were promptly removed. So, the handle of @AltNatParkSer was born and has picked up where the Badlands NPS employee left off.
Think about what happened for employees at #BadlandsNationalPark to actually DELETE factual tweets on climate change.— AltUSNatParkService (@AltNatParkSer) January 24, 2017
Somewhere a call came down the line demanding the account editor remove the tweets. Someone pulled rank and cited President Trump's orders— AltUSNatParkService (@AltNatParkSer) January 24, 2017
"We can't sit idly by. Climate change is likely to threaten our national security—we must act now." @BarackObama 45th US President— AltUSNatParkService (@AltNatParkSer) January 24, 2017
But there are many more "rogue" handles springing up as well. Ironically, @RogueNASA demands that you "RESIST FAKE NEWS" while reporting from a fake, anonymous twitter account.
We cannot allow Mr. Trump to silence the scientific community. We need peer-reviewed, evidence-based research MORE THAN EVER now.— Rogue NASA (@RogueNASA) January 25, 2017
RESIST FAKE NEWS— Rogue NASA (@RogueNASA) January 25, 2017
RESIST ALTERNATIVE FACTS
RESIST CLIMATE SKEPTICISM https://t.co/7bsq4CmuFd
@altUSEPA, an account "activated to circumvent censorship," vows to "only distribute information obtained from legitimate but anonymized EPA sources"
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
Hello. This is the Alternative Environmental Protection Agency Twitter Account activated to circumvent censorship.— altEPA (@altUSEPA) January 25, 2017
Meanwhile, @ungaggedEPA decided to invoke the "Rubio attack" saying "this is an administration of small hands, closed doors, and gag orders."
This is an administration of small hands, closed doors, and gag orders. Together we must protect the earth for future generations.— U.S. EPA - Ungagged (@ungaggedEPA) January 24, 2017
It shaping up to be an interesting 4 (to 8) years.