An unexpected anti-Trump rebellion has emerged on the very social media platform that helped him win the election.
Government workers from NASA, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Park Service (NPS) have started setting up alternative Twitter accounts in defiance of gag orders issued by the White House.
@RogueNASA declares itself “The unofficial ‘resistance’ team of NASA”.
PSA: If you’re a government scientist or employee and your work is being censored, consider this: https://t.co/GReCdOJb96
— Rogue NASA (@RogueNASA) January 26, 2017
The account has amassed 345,000 followers and includes tweets like: “Science deniers are dangerous. The impact of climate change is real. There are consequences for infrastructure and human life. #resist.”
Another, @ungaggedEPA, says it is for “un-gagged news, links, tips, and conversation that the US Environmental Protection Agency is unable to tell you”.
While @RogueUSEPA states that: “Cheeto-haired demagogues don’t get to censor science. Now is not the time to retreat.”
The accounts reflect unease at government agencies including the EPA, departments of the interior, agriculture, and health and human services being instructed to curb or cease communication with the public, including via social media.
President Trump has ordered that EPA studies and data must be reviewed and approved by a political appointee before being shared with the public.
Two EPA employees told Reuters that the administration has also instructed the agency to remove the climate change page from its website.
Our mountain is great, really great, it’s actually the best mountain, because it’s great, so great…🤦♂️
— AltMountRainierNPS (@AltMtRainierNPS) January 25, 2017
@AltUsNatParkSer tweeted: “America is a beautiful country. Please don’t let it be ruined by corporate greed and science denial. #Resist #Climate.
“Can’t wait for President Trump to call us FAKE NEWS. You can take our official Twitter, but you’ll never take our free time!”
@AltMtRainierNPS followed suit, mocking Mr Trump with this tweet: “Our mountain is great, really great, it’s actually the best mountain, because it’s great, so great…”
Pages on subjects such as climate change, civil rights and LGBTQ issues are no longer on the White House website.
Scientists across America are currently organising a march on Washington DC in protest.