After the retweet began to get attention, a career staffer at the Interior Department instructed employees that the “new administration has said that the department and all bureau are not supposed to tweet this weekend and wait for guidance until Monday.”
The message continued, “Please make sure that any scheduled tweets are no longer scheduled,” and referred all questions to another career staffer at the department.
A Park Service source tells CNN the decision to stop tweeting was in order to investigate whether or not the account had been hacked. The agency does not share crowd size estimates, dating back to controversy over the Million Man March in 1995.
New social media guidance issued Saturday cited an “abundance of caution.”
“Out of an abundance of caution, while we investigated the situation involving these tweets, the Department’s communications team determined that it was important to stand down Twitter activity across the Department temporarily, except in the case of public safety,” the new guidance states.
“Now that social media guidance has been clarified, the Department and its bureaus should resume Twitter engagement as normal this weekend, with the exception of social media posts on the Secretary’s policy priorities, which will be outlined upon confirmation.”
Trump’s nominee to lead the department, Montana Rep. Ryan Zinke, is expected to be confirmed in the near future.
That order to stop tweeting impacted all accounts under the Interior Department’s purview, including individual National Park accounts that are, at times, used to communicate emergency messages to visitors.