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Unofficial US national parks Twitter gains 1 million followers to #ResistTrump

The unofficial National Parks Twitter account @AltNatParkSer was created to resist Trump and educate people on climate change: gaining over a million followers in 48 hours.

The unofficial US national parks Twitter account @AltNatParkSer was created on the 24th of January as an alternative to the official page of the National Park Service (NPS), the government agency entrusted with the care of the country’s protected areas. The objective is to resist newly-elected Donald Trump‘s backlash against former president Barack Obama’s action plan on climate change, including the removal of pages dedicated to it and the issue of global warming generally from the White House‘s website on Trump’s first day as president, the 20th of January. @AltNatParkSer, which wants to continue educating people on climate change and the environment, gained 170,000 followers overnight, reaching a total 974,000 in 48 hours.

Climate change tweets removed

The creation of this account was prompted by the cancellation of several tweets on climate change posted by the Badlands National Park account (@BadlandsNPS) on the 24th of January. According to the NPS these were put online by a former employee who wasn’t authorised to do so. “At this time, National Park Service social media managers are encouraged to continue the use of Twitter to post information relating to public safety and park information, with the exception of content related to national policy issues,” NPS said in the statement.

Trump’s executive orders

In an effort to erase Obama’s legacy on climate change and other issues such as healthcare, immigration and funding to groups that give aid and information on abortion Trump is signing many executive orders in the first days of his administration (though most of them will need approval from Congress or will be met by other obstacles). One of these is the decision to revive the Keystone XL and Dakota Access oil pipelines, which have been met by resistance by local communities all over the country.

national parks twitter badlands
Badlands National Park in South Dakota © Badlands National Park/Reuters

#Resistance on Twitter

Accounts like @RogueNASA, @Alt_NASA and @ActualEPAFacts have also been created in these hours claiming to represent alternatives to the accounts of official governmental agencies like the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). They seem to be run by former or current employees, the latter saying they’re afraid of being fired in some cases. Under the hashtag #Resist many are vocalising their effort to try and carry on the work undertaken before the beginning of the new presidency, though their identities remain unknown thus, also, the reliability of the information they’re spreading.

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