A lot has already changed in the wake of the first few days under a Trump presidency. One of the smaller details that most people have failed to learn is that Trump commanded all active Twitter accounts for government agencies to be silenced. Accounts affected include those of the EPA, the FDA, the USDA, NASA, HHS, and the NPS, to name a few. Trump essentially wanted to stop the outflow of information that didn’t fit with his narrative, which is one of the initial signs of a dictator taking shape. Indeed, Hitler did the same thing shortly after working months to discredit the German media. Does that sound familiar?
Fortunately for Americans who don’t know their history, certain individuals working in those agencies who were silenced have not taken the order lightly. While they respect the order in regard to the official accounts, that hasn’t stopped them from making so-called ‘rogue’ accounts that are forming a combined ‘resistance’. Without specifically naming themselves, these accounts have confirmed they are being operated by active members from their respective agencies.
The National Parks Service, or NPS, was one of the first agencies to create such an account on Twitter. It surfaced on Tuesday, January 24th, and in less than two days it has gathered over 250,000 followers. The account went so far as to actually describe itself as a resistance account, and clarified that they were not affiliated with the government in any official sense, thus cementing their rogue status. Another tweet confirms those operating the account are active park rangers who do so on their spare time.
The initial controversy began when an official from the National Parks Service retweeted a series of images that depicted the differences in the sizes of the crowds at Barack Obama’s inauguration and Trump’s. The widely shared images showed that Obama’s crowd was much larger, but Trump refused to accept that. Instead, he ordered the account to stop tweeting indefinitely, as well as all other government agency Twitter accounts.
The thought behind this is that Trump doesn’t want these accounts publishing information from his government’s perspective that agrees with the predominant views in the scientific community, such as the superiority of solar to any form of fossil fuel, and the reality of climate change. He thinks by silencing these few official accounts, he can control the information that gets to the public. Fortunately, he is wrong.
It makes perfect sense that those behind these rogue accounts would want to push forth with such resistance. They are on the front lines of science and the environment, and they are trying their best to protect it from what they see as a grave threat. Specifically, those who work with the National Parks Service should feel responsible for spreading the truth in order to protect America’s most prestigious landscapes and landmarks.
The gag order also specifically silenced the EPA’s grant program twitter account as well as the twitter account of the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service. Both of those accounts represented portions of those agencies responsible for researching climate change and how man affects its progress. They also monitor how such changes affect other relevant areas to man, including wildlife populations and the food supply.
Every now and then, one of these accounts will post something that doesn’t directly deal with science, but on the rare occasions, the posts typically poke fun at Trump. Some have laughed at his arrogance at thinking he can control information, and others about how the scientific community will not allow censorship from a tyrant. They also made serious implications that others would always rise up to defy him should the administration fire any of the operators of the rogue accounts.