Rogue National Park Accounts Emerge On Twitter Amid Social Media Gag Orders
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After a recent order from President Trump requiring a temporary silencing of social media postings from many environmental research and protection programs (most notably the EPA), there has been some resistance coming from employees of these agencies.
This resistance began after several tweets about climate change were posted to the Badlands National Park twitter account. These twitter posts were later deleted from the Park’s verified twitter account, resulting in the creation of several ‘rogue’ accounts for the US National Parks Services. Allegedly run by park employees, these accounts post information about climate
change and science in opposition to Trump. The National Parks Twitter account has since apologized for the deleted tweets.
From a public relations perspective, the rogue tweets and accounts might be concerning for the National Parks Service’s public image. However, I would argue that the actions of these rogue accounts show a strong sense of integrity for the park employees.
An act of resistance towards the US President would normally seem illogical or unprofessional, but according to McFall, the employees running these rogue accounts show integrity through their consistency. Even in the face of adversity and censorship, these Park employees remain consistent by delivering facts and research to the public as they did before the gag order enforced by Trump. By posting these now controversial Tweets, such employees risk losing their jobs. But by continuing the posting of this controversial information, these employees demonstrate sincerity in the values and beliefs that the National Parks Services has stood for in the past.
Despite being censored, these rogue accounts hopefully set a standard that other agencies will follow. Sometimes it may be necessary to break the rules in order to maintain integrity.