In its effort to engage with the public in a more direct manner and to allow both the agency and the public to gain greater access to unclassified information, the United States Central Intelligence Agency has opened its first official accounts on popular social media platforms Facebook and Twitter.
“We can neither confirm nor deny that this is our first tweet,” the agency’s first tweet said.
More than 200,000 netizens followed the account within five hours, according to BBC. In a press release on Friday, the CIA confirmed the news of its joining social media networking sites. Its first tweet was a way to respond to journalists’ and onlookers’ curiosity while showcasing the agency’s sense of humor. This naturally caused a frenzy among Twitter users worldwide.
Followers can also expect to enjoy seeing images of artifacts that are found in the CIA’s museum, which are currently not accessible to the public. The CIA will also be posting facts and pieces of trivia from their vast database of places and people, including information about maps and leaders. To be consistent with its mission of ensuring the national security of the American people it protects and serves, the agency will allow the public to access unclassified information.
This was actually a rather slow move by the CIA as other government agencies, such as the National Security Agency and the Director of National Intelligence, have already joined the social media platform. NSA even became creative with its account @NSACareers by challenging its followers to break codes in a series of letters it posted online. The agency can already be considered a veteran Twitter user, having started its account back in 2009. However, the CIA’s latest social media debut does not necessarily imply negative implications since there is an important public relations role that can be played by creating trends in social media with all of the attendant online activities and participation that come with it.