At 1:49 p.m. on June 6, the Fairfax County-based CIA tweeted from its verified account, “We can neither confirm nor deny that this is our first tweet.”
And with that, the Twitterverse went wild; as of 8:30 p.m. the tweet had been retweeted 162,025 times and favorited 92,055 times.
“Follow us on Twitter @CIA and on Facebook for the latest CIA updates, #tbt (Throwback Thursday) photos, reflections on intelligence history, and fun facts from the CIA World Factbook. You’ll also receive updates on CIA career postings and get the latest glimpse into CIA’s Museum—the best museum most people never get to see. Our social media expansion will put CIA.gov content right at your fingertips.”
Though some individuals and media outlets, like Newsweek, said the CIA’s first tweet was “highly overrated,” Twitter users largely reacted positively to the tweet, amazed that the secretive government agency was able to elicit so many laughs.
Ellen DeGeneres tweeted, “If it’s 1 thing I love about the CIA, it’s their sense of humor #CIAisonTwitter,” and “The #CIAisonTwitter. I can’t believe I’m gonna say this, but I hope they follow me.”
Washington Post Congressional Reporter Ed O’Keefe tweeted, “Does @CIA following you back on Twitter constitute illegal domestic spying? (Asking for a friend…)”
A user named Stephen Basilie (@stephenb) tweeted, “Whoever you hired to manage your social media doesn’t get paid enough.”
USA Today wrote in an article, “Maybe the Langley digital team will get a shoutout from Claire Danes on Homeland. Perhaps followers of @CIA should be careful, too, just to be safe.”
The CIA seemed to enjoy all the buzz; around 8:30 p.m. Friday the agency tweeted, “Thank you for the @Twitter welcome! We look forward to sharing great #unclassified content with you.”
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