CIA Enters Social Media, From Hush-hush to Tweet-Tweet?


Social media has gained so much popularity and influence that not only celebrities managed to start their own accounts but even people of high political status, business groups, government offices, local and private institutions. Those who unexpectedly joined which grabbed so much attention from the public are  the Pope in Rome and just recently, the US spying agency, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

CIA Joins Twitter and Facebook

The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), has joined Twitter with a quirky first tweet and has also set up its own Facebook page. Be cautious since CIA has been picking up information from 5 million tweets everyday, are they extending the spying to the tweet world? Its first tweet gagged “we can neither confirm nor deny that this is our first tweet”, in reference to a popular response to journalists, and the humorous tweet has been retweeted over 275,000 times.

Posts on Twitter

The CIA account, which already has over half a million followers, has sent a second tweet thanking people for the welcome to Twitter and stated it will share “great #unclassified content”. It has also retweeted a tweet from Georgetown University promoting a joint conference between the spy agency and university.

Facebook Posts

The Facebook account although currently has less fame than the Twitter page has around 30,000 fans, with messages following a more serious tone.  Facebook posts to date have included an image commemorating the anniversary of the D-Day landings and a long post laying out the page’s house rules, which include an “all content must be unclassified” rule.

Both the Facebook and Twitter account describe the CIA in the same way by stating: “We are the Nation’s first line of defense. We accomplish what others cannot accomplish and go where others cannot go.”

What Lead the Agency to Finally Enter Social Media

News comes shortly after Nato’s head of social media Franky Saegerman disputed that organisations that ignore the power of social media run the risk of having their agenda hijacked.  Saegerman said,  “It is critical that you are out in front managing your message so that you do it yourself, if you don’t, someone will do it for you and not always with the best intentions.

CIA Director John Brennan shared in a 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. He added, “we have important insights to share, and we want to make sure that unclassified information about the Agency is more accessible to the American public that we serve, consistent with our national security mission.”

What Kind of Posts Do We Expect?

“In addition to posting the latest news, statements, and career information from CIA, the Agency’s social media updates will also feature artifacts and other information from the CIA’s Museum – the best museum most people never get to see,” the release said. “CIA will also post updates and information from the Agency’s “World Factbook,” a unique public resource and educational tool, as well as unclassified intelligence histories and other information.”

It seems strange. For years people have joked about the CIA watching and following their every move whenever, wherever. Now it’s their turn to be followed as we play “pseudo spies”, all thanks to the social networking sites.


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