A groundswell of fake Twitter accounts, with many asserting they are authorized to speak on behalf of the government, is inciting dissent and leading a “resist” Trump campaign.
These bogus ‘alt’ accounts mimic the EPA, the National Parks Service, NASA, and USDA, replete with logos and links to official websites.
The anonymous users behind these accounts claim they are risking their livelihoods by tweeting denigrating posts about President Donald Trump, alarmist Climate Change talking points, and misleading information.
Others are in response to a so-called ‘gag’ order issued by the new administration.
When President Obama assumed office in 2009, that same “gag order” was sent out to all agencies. Essentially, it required a cease-and-desist of social media posting until the new administration had a chance to formulate an agenda and to get new cabinet picks put in place.
The NY Times has recently interviewed veteran government employees, and they explain that the Trump administration is acting no differently than the Obama administration did in 2009. That’s quite a statement given nearly 90 percent of career government employees are Democrats.
Who’s behind the curtain
Unfortunately, social media is ramping up misinformation to a fever pitch as these alt-Twitter accounts use sneaky tactics to imitate official federal agencies. Take for instance @BadIandsNPS (with a capital ‘i’ after the ‘d’), which was born yesterday and now has over 600 followers.
One way to differentiate between what’s real and what’s not is the “birth date” of each account. Most of these alt-Twitter accounts were done in the last few days. The real Badlands Twitter account was created in 2011.