The Central Intelligence Agency showed its hipper side Friday, launching its Twitter presence with a cheeky first tweet: “We can neither confirm nor deny that this is our first tweet.”
The CIA was slow to join Twitter. Other agencies like the geeky codebreakers at the National Security Agency and even the staid Director of National Intelligence had already joined Twitter. NSA had a creative tweet go viral last month, when @NSACareers tweeted a series of letters - with a challenge to break the code. @NSACareers is a veteran tweeter, having launched the first U.S. spy agency Twitter account in 2009.
CIA ✔ @CIA
We can neither confirm nor deny that this is our first tweet.
10:49 AM - 6 Jun 2014
Coming fashionably late to Twitter, CIA quickly made up for lost ground. Within the first hour of its account’s inception at 1:45 p.m., CIA had already gained almost 85,200 followers, their first tweet had been retweeted 70,000 times and “The CIA” was “trending,” in Twitter parlance.
The CIA had been planning to join Twitter for some time, but like all big bureaucracies, especially secret ones, decisions move slowly. “This has been a lengthy process,” said agency spokesman Dean Boyd. “It’s been in the works for a long time.”
Among the hurdles: CIA had to reclaim its handle from an individual who was impersonating the agency. The agency lodged a complaint earlier this year with Twitter to liberate the handle @CIA. “There was someone out there impersonating CIA via Twitter,” Mr. Boyd said. “CIA filed an impersonation complaint with Twitter and they secured the @CIA account for us, which is routine for government agencies.”
Prior to the impersonator, the @CIA Twitter handle belonged to the Cleveland Institute of Art. The institute ditched it in 2013 to consolidate its social media and avoid the ire of angry tweeters who confused it with the spy agency.
Because, this is just funny!