Badlands National Park’s Viral Tweets on Climate Change Just Disappeared

Did the Trump administration crack down?

<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/gianinal/6012284801/in/photolist-aahwNM-aajTdJ-8f55tb-6yrDmy-8fjXqC-aakoTL-8fjXsm-aakopy-8fdYyK-aaks9h-8f5rRN-aakz7y-aajKKA-cihP5w-aahsTe-aahcK2-6VbAow-aajRoj-xGUbiL-aakbbs-aahKRv-aahqsv-aakg4y-aak1Uy-6VbA7y-cESMcu-oBDsDt-5dGLx1-WF5Kq-4LjNcV-ptNktU-ptPzEa-oBCQCU-pckyos-WBR2p-WEZj3-nZeMVz-WBShM-WBWL6-WF4VA-4Lp1KG-cESJJs-cESHwd-WEY5d-WF6gC-4JEnJH-5dGLuj-WF4iA-4JJCML-pcjX1q">Gianina Lindsey</a>/Flickr

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On Tuesday morning, the official Badlands National Park Twitter account started talking about climate change:

Because President Donald Trump has previously said climate change is a Chinese hoax, and because the administration has, apparently, banned Environmental Protection Agency employees from talking about anything, and because the main National Park Service Twitter account was recently censored by the White House for (gently!) mocking Trump’s small inauguration crowd size, Badlands’ tweetstorm quickly went viral.

But four hours after the first one went out, the four tweets about climate change were deleted.

What happened? It’s unclear. The park didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. But the deleted tweets are unusual because Badlands tweets about climate change all the time. The park’s hyperactive social-media account, like the digital imprints of a lot of parks and agencies, really wants the world to know what global warming is doing to its patch of South Dakota:

And:

And:

And my favorite:

Tweeting about climate change wasn’t out of character. It might not have had anything to do with Trump. But deleting those tweets? That’s kind of unusual.

Update: DNC spokeswoman Adrienne Watson has now weighed in on the missing tweets, emailing reporters, “Vladimir Putin would be proud.”

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You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

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