How A National Parks Worker Sparked The 'Rogue Twitter' Movement

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Newly released documents offer a fascinating glimpse into how and why a national parks worker came to trigger the “alt Twitter” movement of disaffected federal employees in the age of the Trump administration.
A Freedom of Information Act request by Bloomberg News turned up a note from one of the pioneers of the movement: a former seasonal worker at the Badlands National Park. 
The worker, whose name was redacted in the released information, highjacked the park’s Twitter account (@BadlandsNPS) four days after Donald Trump’s inauguration and tweeted several facts about climate change.
Why? Because the Department of the Interior had issued an order after Trump’s inauguration that all Twitter accounts within the department’s purview were to be suspended immediately. The order was issued after a National Park Services tweet compared photos of Barack Obama’s inauguration crowd to Donald Trump’s smaller numbers, reportedly infuriating the president.
But in an email from the “rogue” Badlands worker to a parks superintendent obtained by Bloomberg, the employee explained that he or she briefly took over the Badlands tweets because the worker feared censorship of important facts.
“Fearing a gag order on climate science I willfully sent out a series of tweets on the subject,” the worker explained. “I changed the password a few months back but when setting up a Twitter account for my own personal use discovered the cookies had left me logged into the Badlands account. I loaded the tweets … and proceeded to log out. I swear I no longer have the log-in information. I accept full responsibility for my actions.”

The tweets were quickly deleted, despite an outpouring of positive responses from the public. By the time the issue was sorted out, the worker was no longer employed by the park and no action was taken as punishment.
Within days dozens of other “alt” or alternative departments and agencies, purporting to represent the truth by rebels within the federal bureaucracy, began new Twitter accounts.
Earlier this month, U.S. Customs and Border Protection issued a summons to Twitter ordering the company to reveal the identities of those running the Alt Immigration (@ALT_uscis) account. But Twitter refused and sued the department, and the feds backed down.
Most of the other documents obtained by Bloomberg about the Badlands’ Twitter incident praised the worker for going rogue and standing up to the Trump administration. Several hand-decorated postcards were sent thanking the site.

we recommend @BadHombreNPS @AltMtRainier @altUSEPA @Vets_Vs_Trump @AltHVNP @AltStateDpt @AltForestServ @AltDptEducation @AltDIA @alt_labor— ALT Immigration (@ALT_uscis) April 7, 2017
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