The official Twitter account for Badlands National Park tweeted statistics about climate change on Tuesday that could contradict the how President Donald Trump’s administration may want to present the issue.
The tweets were up for a few hours before they were deleted.
“Today, the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is higher than at any time in the last 650,000 years. #climate,” one of the tweets from the South Dakota park read.
In a statement, the National Park Service blamed “a former employee who was not currently authorized to use the park’s account” for the tweets, which the NPS said they deleted of their own accord.
“The park was not told to remove the tweets but chose to do so when they realized that their account had been compromised. At this time, National Park Service social media managers are encouraged to continue the use of Twitter to post information relating to public safety and park information, with the exception of content related to national policy issues,” the National Park Service statement said.
Trump once called climate change a “hoax” invented by the Chinese and, during his campaign for president, repeatedly questioned scientific conclusions that human activity has caused global warming. More recently, he has acknowledged “some connectivity” between human activity and climate change.
The Badlands tweets came amid reports that the Trump administration has sought to prevent employees at several federal agencies involved in environmental policy from communicating with the public.
Employees at the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Health and Human Services and the Interior Department — which oversees the Park Service — were all notified to limit their communication, Reuters reported Tuesday. An EPA source told Reuters that staff were instructed not to speak to reporters or publish press releases, blog posts on social media posts.
Democrats were quick to criticize the move.
Adrienne Watson, the Democratic National Committee national press secretary, said in a statement about the tweet deletions: “Vladimir Putin would be proud.”
This isn’t the first time an account has gone rogue in response to Trump’s administration. On Friday, the National Park Service retweeted messages that compared the crowd sizes at Barack Obama’s 2009 inauguration to Donald Trump’s inauguration Friday.
Representatives from the new administration asked the Interior Department’s digital team to temporarily stop using Twitter as well — a decision the agency now claims was out of a concern the account was hacked.
We regret the mistaken RTs from our account yesterday and look forward to continuing to share the beauty and history of our parks with you pic.twitter.com/mctNNvlrmv
— National Park Service (@NatlParkService) January 21, 2017
Twitter told CNN that the @BadlandsNPS Twitter account had 7,000 Twitter followers on Monday. It now has 119,000 followers since publication, a number that continues to rise.