As President Trump attempts to silence communications coming out of federal agencies, employees of multiple agencies are going "rogue" by setting up independent social media accounts to continue communicating scientific issues with the public. Some argue that Trump’s orders are a normal part of the transition process. However, given that these orders come from someone who thinks climate change is a hoax and has promised to significantly cut federal regulations, I’ll let you be the judge on whether there is legitimate cause for concern.
What’s a Tweet Going to Change?
It’s a reasonable question to ask what effect all this will have, but that question misses the point of these rogue accounts. This is not a means to an end; rather, it’s about taking a stand in opposition to silencing science. These groups aren’t alone in opposing silencing efforts by our new administration either. Many accounts saw their number of followers surge by the hundreds of thousands in a matter of hours.
That amount of public sentiment is hard to ignore, and if ignored could (and rightfully should!) have negative consequences for a Trump administration. Along with an outcry from the public, multiple U.S. senators sent a letter to President Trump detailing their serious concern over these gag orders. So while these accounts may seem like simple feel-good groups, they are much bigger than that. Social media is now one of the metrics we use to gauge public support on issues. By engaging with groups such as these, we’re telling this administration that science matters-and we won’t let it be silenced!
Who to Follow and Who to Trust?
As the organizers of these rogue groups hope to remain anonymous, it’s difficult to verify the legitimacy of each account. To aid in your search, here is a list of alternative Twitter handles we are following.
We may never know whether the organizers behind these groups are actual employees of the agencies they represent, but as long as these groups keep posting factual information, does it really matter? Facts are good, and more facts are better! Multiple sources of information are never a bad thing, but it’s best to always scrutinize information presented to you.
Take Action Now!
In addition to following these rogue groups on social media, consider taking actions today through one or all of these outlets: