New “rogue” Twitter account reportedly run by disaffected National Park Service employees

As I reported yesterday, after the Trump administration ordered the Environmental Protection Agency to have a social media blackout, a National Park Service account went rogue. Yes, in the Land of the Brave, South Dakota, the Badlands National Park Service Twitter account began emitting a series of tweets about climate change (anthropogenic change is of course poo-pooed by Tru*mp). It was a remarkable example of defiance, and I applaud whoever did it (we’re now told it was an unauthorized person who used the account, but who knows?). Here are some of those tweets, which of course have now been deleted:


The Badlands National Park Twitter Account (@BadlandsNPS) appears to be back up, but is posting only very sporadic and tame tweets. Now, however, a real rogue account has surfaced: “AltUSNatParkService” (@AltNatParkSer) that is, according to Time Magazine, “purportedly run by NPS staffers.” Here’s the header; you can go there by clicking on the screenshot:


A sample is below. Ceiling Cat bless these folks, especially if they’re NPS employees. They may be risking their jobs, but if this isn’t the kind of civil disobedience we need now, what is?

I suspect that, by and large, NPS employees aren’t big fans of Trump, since many are likely to be environmentalists. 



h/t: Tom C.


  1. GBJames
    Posted January 25, 2017 at 12:40 pm | Permalink


  2. Posted January 25, 2017 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    The first tweet:

    A gallon of gasoline weighs about 6 pounds.

    Explain to me how 6 pounds of hydrocarbon can be converted into 20 pounds of carbon?

    I don’t think it costs the equivalent of 2.5 gallons of gasoline to produce and distribute 1 gallon of gasoline for use. (But I could be wrong!)

    I agree: Thanks to these brave Federal employees (as presumably they are.)

    • Geoff Toscano
      Posted January 25, 2017 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

      It’s caused by the fact that the carbon atoms combine with two atoms of oxygen (which has a greater atomic weight than carbon). Petrol is getting on for 90% carbon, hence the 20lbs.

      • Posted January 25, 2017 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

        Well, that’s not actually 20# of carbon. It’s 20# of CO2. Not. Carbon.

        I know my chemistry and atomic weights.

        • Posted January 25, 2017 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

          But apparently, I don’t know how to read! Apologies …

          • eric
            Posted January 25, 2017 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

            Even if they had said “carbon,” it’s a bit pedantic to not charitably interpret the meaning of their message as CO2.

          • Posted January 26, 2017 at 6:08 am | Permalink

            This is due to the backward, dysfunctional language used in the Twitter account as well as here, that allows the same word (carbon) to be used as a noun and as an adjective, easily creating confusion.

            (I am joking of course. I like English!)

      • Posted January 25, 2017 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

        I guess my main point is that we gain nothing by putting inaccurate messages out there. Just say, 20# of CO2.

        Please, not: That gallon of gas, it’s sad, it will produce the most carbon! So much, you wouldn’t believe it; but it’s true, I know, and I’m like, a really smart guy!

        • Gregory Kusnick
          Posted January 25, 2017 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

          It does, in fact, say “20lbs of carbon dioxide”.

          • Posted January 25, 2017 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

            You’re right! I retract my entire comment there! Dang me for reading too damned fast!

            Add embarrassment emoji here.

            • gravelinspector-Aidan
              Posted January 25, 2017 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

              Add embarrassment emoji here.

              No point reading the Presidential twitter feed to try to find out what that emoticon is – it’ll never get used there.

    • Posted January 25, 2017 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

      Recommend: The Chemical History of a Candle by M. Faraday (Public Domain)

      It drives home the use of net weight differentials in chemical reactions to display changes in molecular structure. Otherwise the resulting reactions can seem counter-intuitive.

      • Posted January 25, 2017 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

        Conservation of mass?

        Show me the chemical formula where 6# of gasoline is oxidized to produce 20# of carbon atoms.

        (Maybe inside the sun under fusion reactions, making more carbon atoms from the hydrogen; but even then more hydrogen from outside that gasoline would need to be recruited. But not by chemical reactions.)

        Main components of gasoline: Almost exclusively H and C:

      • Posted January 25, 2017 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

        Here’s the chemical reaction:

        2 C8H18 + 25 O2 → 16 CO2 + 18 H2O

        Still 16 carbon atoms on the right side of that reaction.

      • Posted January 25, 2017 at 1:53 pm | Permalink


        Please see my embarrassment emoji, above.

        I read the damned thing wrong. Operator error. It’s been a full (5-day) week for me already this week …

        • Geoff Toscano
          Posted January 25, 2017 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

          Sounds like you need a good stiff drink!

          • gravelinspector-Aidan
            Posted January 25, 2017 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

            It’s Burns Night – perfect ready made excuse.

            • Posted January 25, 2017 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

              And I have Scotch at home! 🙂

              • gravelinspector-Aidan
                Posted January 25, 2017 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

                Take one for the team!

              • GBJames
                Posted January 25, 2017 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

                Sadly, I must get by with Irish Whiskey.

              • darrelle
                Posted January 26, 2017 at 7:02 am | Permalink

                Irish Whisky? That’s not so bad. I don’t have much experience with it, but I recently decided to try a bottle of Redbreast 12. It is quite good.

        • Diane G.
          Posted January 27, 2017 at 2:28 am | Permalink

          Well, on the plus side, you’re getting a lot of mileage out of it.


  3. Heather Hastie
    Posted January 25, 2017 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    This is brilliant! Good on them!

  4. Mark Joseph
    Posted January 25, 2017 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    Has Rump appointed his science adviser yet? If not, I have the perfect candidate for him–Trofim Lysenko. The mere fact that he’s been dead for 40 years shouldn’t much matter–after all, the Rump administration can certainly come up with an alternate fact–and, best of all, he speaks Russian!

    • Bio613
      Posted January 25, 2017 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

      How about Philomena Cunk. She’d make at least as much sense as what’s happening, maybe more.

      • Graham Head
        Posted January 25, 2017 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

        Philomena actually tslks to and, sort of, listens to experts. Fart doesn’t even acknowledge the existence of experts.

        (His name is widely used as a term for fart in the UK)

      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted January 25, 2017 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

        I can see it already – “Cunk On Trump”.
        No, I don’t have privileged access to the BBC’s commissioning department. But it’s just so bloody obvious. I just hope that it causes a “diplomatic incident” by not being very diplomatic.

        • darrelle
          Posted January 26, 2017 at 7:04 am | Permalink

          I don’t think Trump could understand Cunk.

          • rickflick
            Posted January 26, 2017 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

            I doubt that Trump has a normal sense of humor. I think it’s a symptom of whatever it is he’s got.

          • gravelinspector-Aidan
            Posted January 27, 2017 at 2:58 am | Permalink

            Way to set the bar low!

    • Steve Zeoli
      Posted January 25, 2017 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

      I think Clifford C. Claven would make the perfect science advisor for this so-called administration.

      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted January 25, 2017 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

        Who dat? This who that is.

      • Posted January 27, 2017 at 11:33 am | Permalink

        Mr. Claven at least was a sort of public servant, after a fashion.

  5. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted January 25, 2017 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

    Twi##er addicts should take a look at @HalfOnionInABag :

    “What if this account that is simply half an onion in a Ziploc bag ended up with more followers than Donald Trump?”

  6. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted January 25, 2017 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    Yes – if you ever tried pouring from just a 5-gallon can filled with gasoline, you will be compelled to learn more about CO2 in the atmosphere.

  7. John Conoboy
    Posted January 25, 2017 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

    I retired in 2008 after 32 years as a National Park Service employee. I still am amazed that there were a large number of fellow employees and NPS retirees who are hard right wingers. I wonder how they will feel if the Drumpf administration and Congress start reducing their pay/retirement and benefits, which is highly likely.

    • Posted January 25, 2017 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

      In a way, I’m not completely surprised, depending on the area. I’ll bet it’s different if the NPS is in New York rather than in Idaho just given the makeup of the people that would work there. Nonetheless, it’s hard to understand why people who are essentially protecting our environmental interests could be so blinkered.

    • Posted January 26, 2017 at 6:12 am | Permalink

      I find nothing wrong with right-wingers at the NPS. National parks should be a bipartisan priority.

      • GBJames
        Posted January 26, 2017 at 6:51 am | Permalink

        Should be. But it doesn’t work like that. Right-wingers primary interest is to eliminate national parks. That’s why I have a problem with having them in any important management position.

  8. Posted January 25, 2017 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

    Coming soon to Theaters –

    Cognitive Dissonance: In a world where Anti-Government conservatives complain about liberals protesting the government of their favorite candidate.

  9. Posted January 25, 2017 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    “Joined May 2015”. Hmm, did someone foresee a need for this?

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted January 25, 2017 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

      @Coel – It probably didn’t start life with that user name. I don’t do Twitter, but I believe you can change the handle in the account settings page

  10. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted January 25, 2017 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    Related : Elon Musk is saying that Rex Tillerson has recently said essentially supporting comments about climate change. That’s not normalizing Trump, and it is a glimmer of hope. I’ll copy/paste a few clips from Musk’s Twitter:

    “Rex Tillerson supports a carbon tax. This is what is really needed to move the needle. ”

    Tillerson also said that “the risk of climate change does exist” and he believed “action should be taken””

    @TheEconomist Tillerson at his confirmation hearing: “I think it’s important that the United States maintain its seat at the table in the conversation …”

    “… on how to address threats of climate change. They do require a global response”


    • GBJames
      Posted January 25, 2017 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

      Tillerson has talked the talk but not so much walked the walk. Exxon has continued to fund denialists. Source.

      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted January 25, 2017 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

        If a million dollars in denialist funding can stave off ten million dollars of costs in compliance and/ or remediation ten years down thee line, then any trainee bean counter can justify the expenditure. Indeed, a disgruntled shareholder would have grounds for a vote of “No Confidence” in the board if they didn’t make that expenditure to protect the value of their shares.
        Companies do not have the interests of anyone – anyone at all – who is not a share holder in mind. And many would say that they should not have such distractions from making pure profit. Now, you may think that is wrong, but that’s capitalism for you. Love it or loathe it, it’s what we have to deal with.

        • GBJames
          Posted January 25, 2017 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

          Claiming Tillerson is not a climate change denialist is, I think, like claiming the Pope isn’t in charge of an international pedophilia-protecting institution.

          We have to deal with it but we don’t have to play make-believe about institutional criminal activity or the actions of the people who lead them.

          • gravelinspector-Aidan
            Posted January 25, 2017 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

            Exxon’s support for climate-change denial groups is not dependent on Tillerson’s opinions to any significant degree. He could have a Damasacene conversion tomorrow and that wouldn’t change whether or not it was in the interests of Exxon’s shareholders to delay or dilute carbon-tax regulation in general. Indeed, such a Damascene conversion would actually be grounds for removing Tillerson from influence on Exxon.
            The issue isn’t any particular person’s opinions – it’s that corporations don’t have any obligations to any wider society then their customers and their shareholders. And it has been a big enough struggle getting corporations to agree to not poison or kill their customers. Getting corporations to accept wider responsibilities is a task that no-one has made any serious attempt at starting in America. And that is no doubt partly due to the PR departments (or groups funded by them) of corporations keeping up hysteria about communism and “light touch regulation”.

            • GBJames
              Posted January 25, 2017 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

              I’m unwilling to absolve CEO’s of corporations from the positions that their corporations take. You may think them to be victims of circumstance, but if we can’t hold CEO’s responsible for the directions their corporations take then what is the point of a CEO?

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted January 25, 2017 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

        Rex Tillerson is what Milo Minderbinder became after the War. He may end up subcontracting with the Russians to have the Strategic Air Command nuke us themselves — but, hey, we’ll all end up with a share in the syndicate and a box of chocolate-covered Egyptian cotton.

  11. eric
    Posted January 25, 2017 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    They may be risking their jobs…

    IANAL, but the only thing I can see about that site which is legally troublesome is the use of the NPS logo. If they’re using NPS work servers or work time for it, that would obviously be a problem too.

    But AFAIK, NPS employees are free to post and tweet about parks as private citizens, and are certainly free to post their own private citizen opinions of the President. If they take off the arrowhead and post in their spare time (as they advertise) rather than at work, I think they’ll be legally fine.

    Heck, create a satirical facsimile of the arrowhead, and that would work even better.

    • Posted January 25, 2017 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

      That’s true-ish (as a former federal employee under Shrub II). But expect retaliation in ways that are hard to fight or prove.

      “Yes, sorry, there was a better applicant for that position.”

      Most (all?) federal agencies post the portrait of the current President. (I’m sorry I didn’t get to work for Obama instead of Shrub II.) There’s a certain degree of conformity expected. Stand in line and play only in the clockwise direction …

      I really feel for my former colleagues who now have to see der Drumpfenführer staring down at them every day now.

      And I thought Shrub II was bad!

      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted January 25, 2017 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

        Most (all?) federal agencies post the portrait of the current President.

        Replace such portraits with ones of – Wossname? Brain fade – the guy who fought for Yosemite founded (? or expanded?) the Sierra Club. Dundee emigree. [Takes braincell out back to reboot it.] [Cheats Wiki.] John Muir.

        (as a former federal employee under Shrub II).

        And there I was thinking that Federal employees were found in the cabbage patch, and not under the gooseberry bush – either Gooseberry 1 or Gooseberry 2. Or Gooseberry 3, when that comes along.

      • Posted January 26, 2017 at 6:23 am | Permalink

        “Most (all?) federal agencies post the portrait of the current President.”

        We also used to have such a tradition, but after we said goodbye to it, we are feeling better. May I suggest quiet, gradual replacement of the portrait of the current POTUS with that of Washington? Just think how much it will improve the sense of national unity, and how economical it will be, no need of replacement every 4-8 years!

    • Richard Portman
      Posted January 25, 2017 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

      Acronyms- does anybody have a list of them?
      I suppose AFAIK is short for “as far I know” , but what the h e double toothpicks does the other acronym stand for?
      I often find the use of these terms confusing and bossy.
      Just a criticism, and a reminder that many of us are not up to speed.

      • Michael Fisher
        Posted January 25, 2017 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

        IANAL = I am not a lawyer

        • Richard Portman
          Posted January 25, 2017 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

          Thank you.! Doubt I’ll use it because etc, but thanks.

    • Richard Portman
      Posted January 25, 2017 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

      Now that the grammar police are out of the house, I would like to thank you for the advice about NPS logo etc. It might help keep some of our brave idealistic young people out of trouble with the law.
      But I don’t think a satirical facsimile of the NPS will be good.
      I don’t think a satirical facsimile is ever good, I always prefer my real place, which is where they are speaking from.

      • HaggisForBrains
        Posted January 26, 2017 at 5:37 am | Permalink

        Richard, I’m often confused by acronyms on this site, but it only takes seconds to highlight and “Search Google for…”. You’ll find all the common ones easily.

  12. George
    Posted January 25, 2017 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

    More bad news – Mary Tyler Moore has died.

  13. merilee
    Posted January 25, 2017 at 1:53 pm | Permalink


  14. Craw
    Posted January 25, 2017 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    I disagree. There is no first amendment right to use someone else’s Twitter. It is inappropriate to use government accounts to push a private agenda, which #resist surely does. I think in the era of Trump we should be especially wary of approving the use of government information outlets for partisan purposes.

    • GBJames
      Posted January 25, 2017 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

      I’m not sure how tweeting scientific facts constitutes “partisan” activity.

      In any case, I’m sure that our new administration would be fine with tweets containing “alternative facts”.

      • Craw
        Posted January 25, 2017 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

        You will note I objected to #resist? Is that a scientific fact?

        • GBJames
          Posted January 25, 2017 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

          Perhaps you missed the fact that the #resist post was made on a non-government twitter account.

          The tweets above that appeared on the NPS account are all factual statements.

    • eric
      Posted January 25, 2017 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

      I agree that using the new AltUSNatParkService is better for everyone. Cutting a clean distinction between the private speech of the protestors and the official speech of the government is better for the protestors, better for the Park Service, and better for their audience. And as I said above, I don’t think they should be legally using the official arrowhead symbol. Other than that, rock on AltNPS!

      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted January 25, 2017 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

        I don’t think they should be legally using the official arrowhead symbol.

        So … an alternative silhouette might work? One of these, perhaps, if there’s a suitable US example? (And I’ll bet good beer that there is one- if nowhere else, in the wonderful world of cave formations. And I can tell you that USian troglodytes will have spotted relevant examples and documented them. With relish.

        • eric
          Posted January 25, 2017 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

          Nah, you want to reach a wide audience and show you’re clever, not be a jerk. But a brown arrowhead and in the same style lettering of the original make it say “National Truth Service” or something. Satire is protected, you can make it really close as long the fake is clearly tied to your protest mission.

          • gravelinspector-Aidan
            Posted January 26, 2017 at 11:23 am | Permalink

            “Satire is protected” – today.

      • Elizabeth
        Posted January 25, 2017 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

        The official NPS logo is the arrowhead on a black background. I suspect that by changing the background color they are making the logo “unofficial”.

    • Posted January 25, 2017 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

      I agree with Craw. Trump claims that climate change is merely a front for a political agenda. The association of climate change science and data with this kind of partisan hooliganism only reinforces that claim. We’re shooting ourselves in the foot.

  15. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted January 25, 2017 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    NASA Climate said about 22hrs ago, maybe or maybe not coincidentally:

    “Dec 2016’s avg global temp was 3rd highest on record. Global avg atmospheric CO2 concentration was ~405 ppm.”

    … how long do you think it will be?…

    • eric
      Posted January 25, 2017 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

      Oh, it’s pretty much a foregone conclusion that NASA’s earth science budget and mission will be cut once Trump gets a conservative appointee into the Administrator position. No tweet or 2017 web posting will cause that – because the GOP has been gnashing at the bit to make that cut for years.

      The ‘how long’ question is more interesting. It took Obama a couple of months to nominate someone and then another month or two to get him (Bolden) approved. Who knows what timeline Trump will follow.

  16. tubby
    Posted January 25, 2017 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    I.. I’m in love with their Tw*tter account. I can’t marry it, but at least I can follow it.

    • tubby
      Posted January 25, 2017 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

      There’s a couple small national parks near me, as well as a wetlands refuge and research center an hour or two away. I should go see if I can take some nice photos and tw**t them to the alt park service account.

  17. Billy Bl.
    Posted January 25, 2017 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

    “Not taxpayer subsidised!”? A misspelling, or maybe written by an expat from somewhere in the Commonwealth? Fishy.

  18. Ken Kukec
    Posted January 25, 2017 at 2:33 pm | Permalink


    Mao Zedong was a brutal mass-murderer, and a dirty, stinkin’ commie rat, but in his day he was one of history’s great rebel military leaders. Now that Republicans have control of all three branches of the federal government, and of most of the statehouses, it’s time for the rest of us to make like these Badlands rogues, by taking a page from Mao’s book and making our own “Long March” through the political wilderness.

    Always keep in mind the three essentials of guerrilla warfare: move fast, travel light, live off the land as you go.

  19. ChrisB
    Posted January 25, 2017 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    Not content to merely obfuscate and lie about global warming, now they actively suppress factual information about it. I completely understand the reaction by the NPS employees.

    Everyone in Congress and Dump’s clown car administration should get a copy of ‘Collapse’ by Jared Diamond and be required to read it.

    • GBJames
      Posted January 25, 2017 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

      Read? You funning me?

      • Posted January 25, 2017 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

        🙂 (Although after my comments way up above — who am I to talk! 🙂 )

      • somer
        Posted January 25, 2017 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

        President T is Definitely not a reader – starting with avoidance of intelligence briefs. This is just from New York magazine but they are alleging his aides are leaking like a sieve about his bizarre behaviour and that amongst other things, he cannot resist watching a lot of television, sending himself on a cycle of perpetual outrage at media commentary about him

        … meanwhile professional language translators around the world are complaining that Trumps rambling prose, disjointed syntax and exaggerations are extremely difficult to translate

        • barn owl
          Posted January 26, 2017 at 7:03 am | Permalink

          Much of Trump’s bizarre behavior can be explained by the following, from the DSM V:

          The definition of NPD states that it comprises of a persistent manner of grandiosity, a continuous desire for admiration, along with a lack of empathy. It starts by early adulthood and occurs in a range of situations, as signified by the existence of any 5 of the next 9 standards (American Psychiatric Association, 2013):

          A grandiose logic of self-importance
          A fixation with fantasies of infinite success, control, brilliance, beauty, or idyllic love
          A credence that he or she is extraordinary and exceptional and can only be understood by, or should connect with, other extraordinary or important people or institutions
          A desire for unwarranted admiration
          A sense of entitlement
          Interpersonally oppressive behavior
          No form of empathy
          Resentment of others or a conviction that others are resentful of him or her
          A display of egotistical and conceited behaviors or attitudes

      • ChrisB
        Posted January 25, 2017 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

        I guess that’s asking too much , huh?

  20. Posted January 25, 2017 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

    I’m now a follower. Apparently the 581,301st one too (site says 581.3k so I my be friends by rounding 🙂 but what the heck). Amazing that it’s picked up this much steam so quickly.

  21. Ann German
    Posted January 25, 2017 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

    Here’s what I want to know: Is PCCE going to march in the March of Scientists that is being arranged? If so, if my schedule allows, I would LOVE to march with PCCE and other followers of WEIT as a scientist groupie!!! All together, now . . . .

  22. somer
    Posted January 25, 2017 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

    Good on them! Trumps human rights abuses, democratic process abuses and science denial are already on overdrive.

  23. rickflick
    Posted January 25, 2017 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

    I’m looking forward to the scientists march on Washington. It should have plenty of punchy slogans on signs to enjoy.

    I’m thinking this kind of government employee subversion could become very widespread and perhaps that will reduce the effect of some of the heinous directives coming out of Trump’s tiny little hands. Think of thousands of Daniel Ellsbergs.

  24. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted January 27, 2017 at 5:23 am | Permalink

    I can’t find a good place for this:

    On why Trump requested the National Park boss call him:

    “White House deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the call simply demonstrated that Trump’s management style is to be “so accessible, and constantly in touch.”

    “He’s not somebody who sits around and waits. He takes action and gets things done,” Sanders said. “That’s one of the reasons that he is president today, and Hillary Clinton isn’t.””

    Trump pressured Park Service to find proof for his claims about inauguration crowd

  25. Posted January 27, 2017 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    [sigh] As a public servant in another country, my sympathy goes out to my colleagues across the way.

    May the following help:

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