Close to 2 p.m. on Friday June 6, Twitter blew up when the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) sent out their priceless first tweet. Twitter followers were in shock to believe that one of the most secretive agencies in the world was now public. The tweet humored many people by stating that they couldn’t confirm nor deny that it was their first tweet. The tweet became instantly viral and the new twitter account gained over 80,000 followers within the first hour and more than half a million followers on its second day. The agency’s first tweet was retweeted it more than 250,000 times by Saturday morning and favorite more than 100,000 times.
The CIA is currently following only 25 twitter accounts to include the FBI, Homeland Security, The Library of Congress, military branches of the United States, among others. The hashtag #CIAisonTwitter has now gone viral on social media it is trending on Twitter. However, not everyone was thrilled by the CIAs priceless tweet that blew up this social media platform. Amnesty International replied to CIA’s tweet by saying, “Would be great if @CIA put at least as much effort into following the law as they do into getting Twitter followers.” Wikileaks also shared a tweet saying “@CIA We look forward to sharing great classified info about you” and included links to recent reports.
CIA Director John Brennan said that the Central Intelligence Agency wants to be more open to the public. They want to tell people about the CIA’s mission and history, for them to have a better understanding, and have more access to the unclassified information. Georgetown University welcomed the CIA to Twitter and publicly announced the agency’s first public conference on national security that will be held on campus this upcoming week. The Government’s Central Intelligence Agency will talk about its upcoming work in the 21st century and how it manages to maintain a balance between being the most secretive agency in the world and how it handles transparency. The conference will also have the executive-in-residence Robert Mueller as a speaker, who was formerly an FBI director.
Prior to its debut on Twitter, The CIA joined Facebook on June 1. Just like on Twitter, it blew up in just a few days and now it has almost 26,000 likes. On Friday, the agency posted a military picture in memory of D-Day 70th Anniversary; this shows that the social media accounts will serve to post more than just priceless tweets. The CIA director said that it will also post career opportunities, information on its mysterious museum, and news, along with other online resources. It will also tweet updates on its World Factbook, which contains countries and territories around the world, leaders, and information on populations, history, geography, maps and other important information.
In comparison to other government agencies, the CIA has been a late adopter of social networks. Before Friday, it only had a YouTube and Flickr account, but trailed behind on Twitter and Facebook. Unlike the CIA, the Department of Homeland Security joined Twitter in July of 2008, and the FBI joined the same year in November, with the Department of Defense only joining a year later. The CIA tweeted back to its followers on late Friday afternoon to thank them for their welcoming to this platform; the agency expressed how it looks forward to sharing information as long as it is unclassified. Twitter followers will just have to wait and see if the CIA will send another post or tweet as clever and priceless as the first one, that made Twitter blow up.
By Marcia Villavicencio
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