Rogue One? More like Rogue 24 and counting….
At least 24 Twitter accounts claiming to be posting unofficially for federal agencies sprouted like mushrooms overnight following an isolated incident in which a former employee of the National Park Service took over one of its Twitter accounts and posted four tweets about climate change on Tuesday.
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
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. The Twitter account for the NPS posted a tweet apologizing for the “mistaken RTs.”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.”
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. 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. There are now more than 24 “alt” or “Rogue” agency twitter accounts. It is a wake up call that You may be living in a dictatorship if scientists and government employees are afraid of being fired for sharing facts
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.