Alt Twitter government accounts spring up to challenge Trump

Twitter accounts are appearing in support of science-focused government agencies, but are they real?


										IDG Worldwide

IDG Worldwide

Alternative facts and fake news, meet Alt-Twitter. In the last few days, a growing number of Twitter accounts have been started claiming to be the "alternative" or "rogue" voices of U.S. government workers and agencies.

It started with the brouhaha over tweets from two National Park Service accounts and the reaction to them from the White House.

An @AltNatParkSer account quickly sprang up claiming to be the "unofficial resistance team of U.S. National Park Service" and has to-date amassed 1.3 million followers -- that's three times as many followers and the legitimate @NatlParkService account.

The account says it's run by environmental activists and journalists, not government workers, and that's the case for many of the other alternative accounts that are now online.

Like the Alt US Forest Service, Rogue NASAAlt CDC, and NOAA Uncensored, many of the tens of accounts appear to be set up by sympathizers to show support for science-focused agencies that are facing changes and restrictions under the new administration.

But not all.

Perhaps none is as daring as @RoguePOTUSStaff, which purports to come directly from the White House. It has been tweeting out overhead conversations and White House gossip to its 83,000 followers since Wednesday.

For anyone following presidential politics this week, it makes for juicy reading but -- and this is important -- no-one can say for sure whether any of it is real.

The bio on the account claims it is run by "the unofficial resistance team inside the White House," but that's all. The person or people running the account have been asked for verification but have declined to provide it.

It's worth remembering that the fake news stories that rose to prominence during the election campaign were written in a way to confirm suspicions or beliefs that a group of the electorate already held, and the same can be said of the RoguePOTUSStaff Twitter feed if the audience is scared and skeptical liberals.

But the account holder does at least appear to have some knowledge of government affairs, writing on Friday that the account could be a "violation of Hatch Act."

The Hatch Act is legislation that prohibits government employees from engaging in political acts while on the job.

For now, the alternative accounts don't represent a big challenge to official outlets. The government's U.S. Digital Registry lists 3,347 official Twitter accounts, so the resistance has some way to go.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Martyn Williams

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?