NASA scientists defy Trump gagging order online

Scientists from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), NASA, the US National Park Service and a range of other bureaus have launched ‘rogue’ Twitter accounts

NASA scientists defy Trump gagging order online

File photo. Image: John Giles / PA Wire/Press Association Images

An unexpected rebellion against the Trump administration’s reported attempts to silence scientists and climate change research has sprung up online.

Scientists from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), NASA, the US National Park Service and a range of other bureaus have launched ‘rogue’ Twitter accounts in defiance of gag orders issued by the White House.

The accounts reflect unease at government agencies being instructed to curb or cease communication with the public - including via social media.

The Trump administration has reportedly ordered that any studies or data from scientists at agencies such as NASA and the EPA be reviewed and approved by a political appointee before being shared with the public.

The review extends to content on the agency website - including research detailing the hard scientific evidence demonstrating that the Earth’s climate is warming, with man-made carbon emissions largely to blame. 

Employees at the US Interior Department, the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) have seen directives from the new administration seeking to limit how they communicate to the public according to Reuters sources.

The @rogueNASA account has amassed 462,000 followers in the hours since it was set up declaring itself the "unofficial 'resistance' team of NASA”: 

Another, @ungaggedEPA, says it is for "un-gagged news, links, tips, and conversation that the US Environmental Protection Agency is unable to tell you."

"Can't wait for President Trump to call us FAKE NEWS," one anonymous National Park Service employee posted on the newly opened Twitter account @AltNatParkService. "You can take our official twitter, but you'll never take our free time!" 

Pages on subjects such as climate change, civil rights and LGBTQ issues are no longer on the White House website.

Scientists across America are currently organising a march on Washington DC in protest. 

 Additional reporting from IRN ...