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A Conversation with the Rogue National Park Service Twitter Account

We reached out to @AltNatParkSer through Twitter and learned more about the origins of the account and its future.
January 27, 2017, 11:24pm

Ever since President Trump launched an offensive against government transparency—first, by personally complaining about a retweet from the National Park Service that drew attention to his small inauguration turnout—Twitter has been a hotbed for burgeoning political dissent. One of the most visible channels for this discord has been an account called @AltNatParkSer, which started as a reaction to the muzzling of a National Park Service Twitter account for sharing facts about climate change. About a dozen other alt accounts have popped up in the last week. Yesterday, Motherboard's Jason Koebler argued that "rogue" Twitter accounts claiming to be owned by off-duty federal employees should verify themselves. The point being, if you're communicating with millions of followers under the guise of being an insider, it's sort of on you to prove it. Otherwise, there's no reason for anyone to believe you're actually helping government scientists stand up to President Trump. The story was met with criticism from @AltNatParkSer, the two-year-old Twitter account that recently claimed to be helmed by "several active NPS [National Park Service] rangers and friends." For the record, Motherboard pointedly said, "this doesn't mean Twitter checkmark verification," only that it would be easy for whoever is operating the account to verify their identity to a third party and still remain anonymous. More than 1.2 million people currently follow the account, and it's doubtful most of them know it's since switched to the authorship of alleged environmental activists and journalists. Read more on Motherboard