The Central Intelligence Agency ups their social media presence with a cheeky first tweet on the usurped* account, @CIA.
We can neither confirm nor deny that this is our first tweet.
— CIA (@CIA) June 6, 2014
The presence on these premier social media sites will supplement the CIA’s existing digital presence, which includes a Web site and Flickr and YouTube accounts. CIA Director John Brennan explained the move in a press release: “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. 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.”
*In order to get the handle @CIA, they filed an impersonation complaint with Twitter, standard practice, and took to the tweetwaves with their already legendary first tweet, I wonder if that tweet would trigger the Secret Service’s wished-for sarcasm detector.
ADDED: From 2011 – How The CIA Uses Social Media to Track How People Feel:
The CIA maintains a social-media tracking center operated out of an nondescript building in a Virginia industrial park. The intelligence analysts at the agency’s Open Source Center, who other agents refer to as “vengeful librarians,” are tasked with sifting through millions of tweets, Facebook messages, online chat logs, and other public data on the World Wide Web to glean insights into the collective moods of regions or groups abroad. According to the Associated Press, these librarians are tracking up to five million tweets a day.
The CIA facility wasn’t built specifically to track the ebb and flow of social media: The program was established in response to a recommendation by the 9/11 Commission with the initial mandate to focus on counterterrorism and counterproliferation. According to the Associated Press, the center shifted gears and started focusing on social media after watching thousands of Iranian protesters turn to Twitter during the Iranian election protests of 2009, challenging the results of the elections that put Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad back in power.