CIA debuts on Twitter with a joke: Too clever? (+video)(Read article summary)
The CIA poked fun at itself Friday with its first tweet on Twitter: 'We can neither confirm nor deny that this is our first tweet.' Many applauded the quip, but not everyone was laughing.
Screengrab from @CIA's Twitter page
The Central Intelligence Agency scored big Friday afternoon when the clandestine agency launched its new Twitter account with the tweet, “We can neither confirm nor deny that this is our first tweet."
Within an hour, more than 60,000 Twitter users signed up to follow the new @CIA account, and a torrent of tickled tweets commending the agency’s sense of humor flooded the Twitterverse.
The agency Twitter account will feature “photos, reflections on intelligence history, and fun facts from the CIA World Factbook” as well as career postings and shots from the CIA Museum, according to an agency press release. The release also says that the agency will participate in Throwback Thursday (#tbt), a weekly trend when social media users post old photographs of themselves.
The agency also launched a Facebook account this month, though that account hasn’t yet garnered nearly as much attention. So far, fewer than 300 people “like” the CIA Facebook page since its inception on June 1. The agency already had a website and Flickr and You Tube accounts.
This may be the first official CIA Twitter account, but the agency is no stranger to social media. Agents have been mining tweets for intelligence for years in a social media-tracking center, The Atlantic reported back in 2011. It's a point that many users had a bit of fun with Friday.
The CIA’s foray into social media came less than a week after a New York Times article based on documents revealed by former NSA-contractor Edward Snowden sparked concerns that the National Security Agency has been amassing a database of photos collected via social media.
Not all Twitter users were so eager to joke about the nation's clandestine activities.