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CIA turns to social media to engage more directly with the public

One News Page Staff Saturday, 7 June 2014
CIA turns to social media to engage more directly with the publicby

The CIA marked its social media debut with its first post on Twitter: "We can neither confirm nor deny that this is our first tweet."

The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) sent out its first official tweet on Friday, marking its arrival on the social media. Designed to "engage more directly with the public", the U.S. spy agency's official Twitter and Facebook accounts are set to provide information about the CIA's mission, history and latest developments.

"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," CIA director John Brennan said in a public statement.

"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," Brennan said.

The spy agency's arrival on Twitter generated more than 300,000 followers within the first 12 hours after posting the first official tweet: "We can neither confirm nor deny that this is our first tweet."

The agency's reference to its infamous response to journalist queries demonstrated a sense of humour which was welcomed by the majority of followers within the international Twittersphere, but also attracted critical responses from some people.

A number of followers dared the CIA to "follow" the official twitter account of German Chancellor Angela Merkel after Germany opened its criminal investigation into alleged tapping of her cellphone by U.S. spies. Other users asked the CIA for help recovering their lost email passwords, whilst others made less light-hearted references to the CIA's alleged operations.

"That hilarious first tweet by the CIA totally makes up for all the abductions, torture, and extrajudicial killings," Twitter user Koen Rouwhorst tweeted. The New York Review of Books responded to the CIA tweet by posting links to articles about CIA interrogation methods, including "prolonged stress standing", "suffocation by water" and "other methods of ill-treatment".

British news outlet Sky News posted on its official Twitter account: "Now It's Your Turn To Follow CIA - on Twitter".

Useful Links:
- CIA Twitter account
- CIA Facebook page
- Sky News Twitter account

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