What the heck is the #altgov, and how does one participate in the #twistance? …also why? To the first, #altgov is the name savvy Twitter soldiers gave to the rising number of parody accounts which resemble actual “.gov” social media accounts. Here are a few;
The #altgov rose out of what can reasonably be considered a misstep by the Trump Administration hours after the inauguration. In short, a reporter for the New York Times tweeted a side-by-side comparison of the crowd at Obama’s 2009 Inauguration and Trump’s Inauguration. Spoiler…Obama had a bigger crowd. The National Park Service re-tweeted the photos, which were apparently seen as a slap in the face of the new administration. The National Park Service was contacted by the Trump administration and told to stop tweeting for a while. According to CNN, the administration was “concerned the account had been hacked.” Regardless of intent, the mere act of asking people to “shush” causes an equal and opposite reaction, especially in social media. As one would expect, the equal and opposite in this case was the on-line equivalent to a massive, two-fisted, table pounding temper tantrum. Thus, the creation and proliferation of numerous accounts all claiming to be part of the new #resistance. Resisting what exactly? Well…Trump.
Twistance has somewhat of a less glorious start. Essentially, if one were to ban science and the media at the same time, a Twistance would appear. Many people in the #altgov realm believe wholeheartedly that Trump’s administration are afraid of science, thus will eliminate it from public discussion. This reaction seems to emanate from pro-climate change advocates, but can easily be stretched into the reproductive rights realm. Either way, #Twistance doesn’t have nearly the staying power as #altgov, so we may see it fall into the Twitter Void (like #bae, #yolo, and the ever-annoying #onfleek).
So why do we care about the #altgov and the #Twistance? Because #muslimban, because #handsupdontshoot, and also because #alternativefacts. Truth is not now, nor has it ever been in the eye of the beholder. That being said, truth can be parsed, nuanced, and sliced in such a manner that what was once truth, now appears false, and what was patently false a few minutes ago, now appears entirely true. Social media allows us to contort truth at the speed of life, resulting in movements based on false assumptions. Enter the effects of “fake news.”
Frankly, I don’t care if you feel #altgov is justified, to me a little satire is what we need, but when satire replaces reality, truth fades from the public eye and we are left with visceral reactions on both sides.