America’s ultra-secretive but occasionally leaky spy outfit, the CIA, went on Twitter on Friday with a cheeky first tweet that got over 211,000 re-tweets. Not a bad start.
“We can neither confirm nor deny that this is our first tweet,” it said. But it was indeed the agency’s first. The CIA was now on Twitter and Facebook, it said in a press statement.
“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,” said CIA Director John Brennan.
But to all those who noticed and promptly hit the follow button in the hope of finding out the agency’s plans for Vladimir Putin, it said expect only unclassified stuff.
“Thank you for the @Twitter welcome! We look forward to sharing great #unclassified content with you.” It will be mostly stuff from the CIA’s “The World Factbook”.
But this is the CIA. How can it disappoint totally?
Apart from news, statements and job openings, the agency will post “artifacts and other information from the CIA’s Museum – the best museum most people never get to see”.
So there will be something special.
What next? @RAW? or @IB? Or @IMossad?
If RA&W is interested, it had better hurry. The handle @RAW has been taken already, but @RA&W is still available. And @IB is gone too. It will have to be creative.
Or do what CIA did. It complained to Twitter and wrested back the handle @CIA from someone who had taken it to impersonate the agency.
@CIA picked up over 67,000 followers within an hour, and by the time of filing this report, the number had swollen to 388,000.
Among them was Wikileaks, the whistleblower website, that welcomed the agency with this: “@CIA We look forward to sharing great classified info about you.”