Rogue Twitter accounts purportedly created by disaffected science agencies

After Tr*mp ordered various science-related Federal agencies to undergo a social media blackout a few days ago (and forced the “rogue” Badlands National Park account, which was tweeting out climate-change announcements, to withdraw its facts), various other rogue accounts have sprung up.  Now many or most of these may be bogus, not having anything to do with disaffected employees of those agencies, but I suspect at least some are real; if I find out more information I’ll post it here. The San Diego Union-Tribune counted 24, but the list compiled by Alice Stollmeyer, below, has 47.

Take these with a grain of salt. They may be hoaxes, but some may be real expressions of revolt by federal agencies.

And if you’re a scientist, remember that planning is in the works for a Scientists’ March on Washington, a science-oriented equivalent to the recent Women’s March. The date hasn’t yet been set.

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41 Comments

  1. Posted January 26, 2017 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

    To silence anyone is anti democratic. I love this and am so glad the scientific community plans on making their voices heard. It may be a long 4 years for Trump if we keep standing together and marching! -C

  2. Rob
    Posted January 26, 2017 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    I’ve already looked at some of these. I think they could be excellent, if they stay focused on the science of the respective agency they’re speaking (unofficially) for. If they wander all over the map, posting on politics, personal opinions, retweeting everything that catches their interest, etc., their efforts will be far less effective.

    I suggest they become mirror accts, posting specific information that their respective agencies are not tweeting about.

    • eric
      Posted January 26, 2017 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

      Yes. Another effective use would be as an unofficial Q&A source, since at this point it looks like the agencies will not be allowed to official respond to public information requests.

      I’m a bit reminded of the scenes in the Insurance office in the Incredibles. The boss gets madder and madder at the hero because the hero’s clients keep finding ways to actually use their policies. The unofficial sources could clue the public in on where to look for scientific information that the conservative administration doesn’t want people to think about.

  3. Ken Kukec
    Posted January 26, 2017 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

    … many or most of these [accounts] may be bogus …”

    Actually, here in the Age of Trump, I believe the mot juste would be “alternative accounts.”

    • Posted January 26, 2017 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

      Good one! 🙂

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted January 27, 2017 at 2:38 am | Permalink

      As many (most – I’d need to go back and count) indicate in their choice of name …

  4. tubby
    Posted January 26, 2017 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

    I’m following four of them which look pretty good. They seem to be from actual employees of those agencies, though one of them brought on a writer.

  5. Posted January 26, 2017 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

    Reblogged this on The Logical Place.

  6. yiamcross
    Posted January 26, 2017 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

    Oh well, maybe the UK can build on its high ranking in the science world by importing disaffected scientists from the US. Sounds like they’re not going to have a happy time at home unless they sign up for creationist classes or fit in with the climate change denialists. About our only chance of creating some kind of worthwhile industry as everything else flees the consequences of Brexit.

    • Syfer
      Posted January 26, 2017 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

      Not with the Tories in charge, they pioneered gaging scientists from reporting facts they didn’t like: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/apr/17/britains-scientists-must-not-be-gagged
      Summary: “A ban on state-funded academics using their work to question government policy is to begin on 1 May.” That’s May 2016 btw. “Given examples range from climate change to embryo research and from animal experiments to flood defences”

      Or it turns out, they didn’t. Canada, 2014: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2646897/Canada-bans-government-meteorologists-talking-climate-change.html

      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted January 27, 2017 at 2:46 am | Permalink

        Not with the Tories in charge, they pioneered gaging scientists from reporting facts they didn’t like

        Though my right arm would strangle me for supporting Tories (hawk, spit), Stalin and Trofim Lysenko certainly predate their recent actions. And with a bit of thought I could almost certainly come up with examples from Nazi-era Germany. Or Apartheid-era South Africa. And I’ve got a feeling (I don’t have time before I leave to follow up) there were examples of mine- and dam- related environmental and safety concerns back into the Victorian era. (Slope stability case in Yorkshire … multiple deaths … can’t put my finger on the name.)

  7. Mark Sturtevant
    Posted January 26, 2017 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

    On the scientist march: I have been watching it, and very very much want to participate. If not to Washington, then to a site in my region. I am stirred.

    I thought my eyes were open. They are definitely open now.

    • Posted January 26, 2017 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

      The Scientist March has been tweeting about putting ‘intersectionality’ at the heart of the protest.

      If they are going down the ‘Linda Sarsour in a labcoat’ route of inviting speakers to tell us how much better science is in Saudi Arabia that’s another nail in rationality’s coffin.

  8. Posted January 26, 2017 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    Interesting commentary on all this at:
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/kalevleetaru/2017/01/25/what-the-rogue-epa-nps-and-nasa-twitter-accounts-teach-us-about-the-future-of-social/#3f8b532f5dc0

    I especially enjoyed this: “In fact, the @AltNatParkSer account has almost twice as many followers as the official @NatlParkService account.” Wonderful!

    • Craw
      Posted January 26, 2017 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

      This seems very muddled thinking to me. The “rogue” account isbeing followed by people who already dislike Trump. Preaching to the choir, big whoop. The real account is where the unpartisan should be able to go for reliable information, and it would be better if more people did that. Would it be even more wonderful if no-one read the real Park Service feed at all?

      • Syfer
        Posted January 26, 2017 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

        Yes and no – this means there is a non-trivial extra number of people who NPR managed to reach thanks to the exposure given by censorship.

        There are a lot of people who don’t give a monkeys about climate change cause they think it doesn’t affect them, but censorship enjoys a widespread detest. If any of them are reached and convinced to care about climate change, that can only be a good thing.

        • Mike Barrows
          Posted January 28, 2017 at 9:12 am | Permalink

          sooner or later they will all care. the trick is getting those that already care to single issue vote based on it like the anti-abortionists have been able to accomplish and the sooner the better. maybe we need to ask them “how long can you tread water?”

      • Alpha Neil
        Posted January 26, 2017 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

        I think the people running the “rogue” accounts would completely agree with you when you say that the “real account is where the unpartisan should be able to go for reliable information, and it would be better if more people did that”. The actions taken by this administration have signaled strongly that the official accounts will be politicized. That is what these “rogue” accounts are pushing back against.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted January 26, 2017 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

        It seems to me quite a skewed view to contend that the dissemination of accurate information through rogue accounts is somehow a greater evil than the politicization of federal agencies to censor them from communicating accurate information to the American people.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted January 27, 2017 at 2:51 am | Permalink

      I wonder what the overlap between the two groups of followers is. I’d suspect that a very high proportion of the followers of the “Official” accounts also follow the “Alt” accounts, plus a lot of new followers.
      The latter group constitute a “win” for the bodies involved.

    • Mark Herb
      Posted January 28, 2017 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

      The conservatives always hide the truth behind their interpretation of the bible. it makes it so much easier then listening and acting on the facts proven time and time again by people who have higher IQ’s than the whole lot of people in charge. I say death to the Electoral College the person with the most popular vote wins. Two of the last four Presidents lost the popular vote.

      I agree that the problem has been happening for a long time little by little and the people who are supposed to lead the country have not got out of our recliners and voted the deniers out of D.C. out of Washington and refused to let them go to work for the too big to fail shills that kept them in power.

      We were all too happy to give up a big piece of our free speech after 9-11. Please don’t put me in that group please! Very bad move.Then we let the wall street bunch steal our hard earned retirements. And NO one went to jail.Bring back the public stockades and plenty of rocks. I will finish up my pent up anger with a question. DO WE OR DO WE NOT STILL HAVE THE RIGHT TO FREE SPEECH ????? I know when the people finally had enough of Vietnam and we took to the streets. It was not easy but the war ended. Who won or who lost is unimportant and now you can vacation in Vietnam and Cuba will be next.

      How did a president flip the finger to the people of this country and ignore the constitution?

  9. Daniel Zalec
    Posted January 26, 2017 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

    This is awesome! It’s great to see scientists fighting back against this madness.

  10. Mark Reaume
    Posted January 26, 2017 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

    According to the “rogue” Badlands National Park account, they transferred their alt account to journalists who are former scientists. They didn’t want their colleagues to be put under undue scrutiny.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted January 27, 2017 at 2:53 am | Permalink

      Don’t worry, the NAS/ FBI/ CIA/ KGB-replacement will have the journalists covered. With a towel, and a Presidentially-approved hosepipe to the face.

  11. Posted January 26, 2017 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

    I hope they are all genuine “alternative accounts” and that there will be many more of them from any other agencies shut up by Trump.
    I am so proud of them and hope they are not in danger of losing their jobs.

  12. Posted January 26, 2017 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

    I think the Cold War leant the term ‘dissident scientist’ with deeply heroic and romantic associations. Who wouldn’t want to wear the badge of Andrei Sakharov?

  13. largeswope
    Posted January 26, 2017 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

    I marched in Denver. It was very peaceful and powerful. I hope there is a Science March.

  14. Posted January 26, 2017 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

    And as we know, that asshole has been using an unprotected twitter account.

    http://www.thenewcivilrightsmovement.com/davidbadash/trump_s_potus_twitter_account_has_been_using_a_gmail_address_with_no_security

  15. W.Benson
    Posted January 26, 2017 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

    Today (Jan 26, 1130 EST and again at 1730 h) I recorded the number of followers on several Alt protest Tw*tter sites to see how quickly they are picking up followers:
    1130 1730 factor
    @AltForestServ 76.3K 109K (1.43 X)
    @AltNatParkSer 1.04M 1.14M (1.10)
    @ActualEPAFacts 89.9K 123K (1.37)
    @Alt_NASA 60.2K 82.3k (1.37)
    @RogueNASA 375K 502K (1.34)
    @AltUSEPA 103K 139K (1.35)
    @Alt_CDC 38.1K 57.4K (1.44)
    @AltHHS 44.2K 72.6K (1.64)
    @alt-fda 48.9K 77.1K (1.58)
    @Alt_NIH 29.6K 45.4K (1.53)
    @altusda 49.4K 77.1K (1.56)

    some others:
    @AltUSFWS 23K (1820h)
    @AlternativeNWS 43K (1821h)
    @RogueNOAA 10.6K (1822h)
    @Rogue_USBGN 15.9K (1829h)
    @AltUS_ARC 17K (1831h)
    @altNPSandEPA 6.63K (1835h)
    @NatParkUndrgrnd 34.5K (1836h)
    @ungaggedEPA 56.5K (1837H)
    @ScienceMarchDC 195K (1838h)
    @NatlSciService 18K (1840h)
    @noaagov 6.44K (1841h)

    Most seem to be growing fast enough to more than double each day, except the Alt National Park Service. It has over a million followers, about 3 times that of the official NPS Tw*tter site.
    [I suspect the configuration will go all to hell when I post this].

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted January 27, 2017 at 2:57 am | Permalink

      [I suspect the configuration will go all to hell when I post this].Does the [CODE][/CODE] tag-pair help much?

      @ScienceMarchDC 195K (1838h)
      @NatlSciService 18K (1840h)
      @noaagov 6.44K (1841h)

      (with alignment fixed in monospace)

  16. Alyx
    Posted January 27, 2017 at 3:39 am | Permalink

    >Idiot thinks some science agencies are posting conspiracies on social media accounts
    >He has the authority to shut them up, so he does
    >Agencies ignore his authority, go rogue, and continue to post what him (and others) think is false, conspiracy driven propaganda.

    I see absolutely no way this could possibly go wrong…

    • Mike Barrows
      Posted January 28, 2017 at 9:18 am | Permalink

      the truth will set you free. but only if we stand united.

  17. Mike Deschane
    Posted January 27, 2017 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    I coincidentally started re-reading Cory Doctorow’s “Little Brother” in the last few days. The story is dystopian but I keep finding parallels that are chilling. The hero’s use of the “XNet” to subvert the evil DHS’s spying is one of them.

  18. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted January 28, 2017 at 4:53 am | Permalink

    Get ready for this at the march for science:

    Source Twi##er starting point:

    @ScienceMarchDC Science helps me understand a small fraction of the beauty of our universe. It’s like looking into the mind of God.

    @Sawyer12Candice @ScienceMarchDC I agree – I believe science and God are one and the same.

    @Stephademic @Sawyer12Candice @ScienceMarchDC science cemented my belief in god

    Also brace yourself for Hijabs made out of American flags.

    • ThyroidPlanet
      Posted January 28, 2017 at 4:54 am | Permalink

      Sorry not clear ^^^ I wrote the last sentence up above ^^^^

  19. Sandollar
    Posted January 28, 2017 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    The most disconcerting thing about this is that my, your tax dollars PAY for the collection and dissemination of that data. It is not his to censor and restrict. It is ours. He hasn’t even paid taxes for decades. So to my way of thinking none of the data is his. This is the entire problem with this administration. He walked in thinking he is a god and anything that comes to his mind is good and therefore must be executed post-haste. IT IS OUR DATA that is being sent to us via ‘rogue’ methods. Therefore, ‘rogue’ is an inexact term. They are doing what the people expect of them. That means they are doing their jobs and he is not doing his.

  20. J
    Posted January 28, 2017 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    Should not the words of scientists come from the private sector and NOT the government? I would prefer the government filter and agenda, regardless of those who are in power to be applied to the words of scientists or anyone for that matter.

  21. Papakid
    Posted January 28, 2017 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

    So, when the ban is over we should expect to see official sites with alternative facts and alternative sites with real facts? I guess it’s what we should we should expect with alternative politicians doing politics.

  22. Bodus75
    Posted January 28, 2017 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

    President of the United States of America trashing the Constitution and free speech. How long before impeachment proceedings get started?

    • j
      Posted January 28, 2017 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

      Not really.


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