The CIA joined Twitter on Friday, proving it has a sense of humor in the process.
Whether its first tweet was the result of heated discussions across several high-level meetings or a simple off-the-cuff missive posted by a lone operative is hard to say, but its funniness ensured the agency’s verified account got off to a flying start, with the post retweeted more than 160,000 times in a matter of a few hours.
And here it is: “We can neither confirm nor deny that this is our first tweet.” Not bad, eh?
We can neither confirm nor deny that this is our first tweet.
— CIA (@CIA) June 6, 2014
Zeke Johnson of Amnesty International USA was less amused, however, saying in a statement that “the CIA’s first Tweet would be funny if it weren’t for the agency’s use of torture and extrajudicial executions.” Johnson added, “They should put as least as much effort into following the law as they do into social media. The full truth about the CIA torture and drone strikes should be made public immediately and those responsible for crimes held accountable.”
While currently following only 25 Twitter accounts – though possibly many more without anyone knowing – the CIA has already picked up more than 260,000 followers, indicating a strong interest among the Twitter community in “the Nation’s first line of defense,” or at least, a strong interest in whether or not it’ll post an equally amusing second tweet.
Followed accounts include the FBI, NASA, Homeland Security and the White House.
The agency also joined Facebook this week, and already has a presence on other sites such as YouTube and Flickr.
“By expanding to these platforms, CIA will be able to more directly engage with the public and provide information on CIA’s mission, history, and other developments,” the agency’s director, John Brennan, said in a release. “We have important insights to share, and we want to make sure that unclassified information about the Agency is more accessible to the American public that we serve, consistent with our national security mission.”
So, no, don’t expect anything too juicy to turn up on the intelligence agency’s Twitter feed. Its social media posts will mostly include the latest CIA-related news, statements, and relevant career information. Followers will also receive updates on the CIA Museum, described by the agency as “the best museum most people never get to see” (it’s not open to the public, y’see.) as well as tidbits from its World Factbook, an impressive online resource which you can find here.