Years after many government departments and agencies began moving to social media, the Central Intelligence Agency made its first ever posts Friday on Twitter and Facebook, peeling away a bit of the agency’s veil of secrecy.
On Twitter, the agency’s verified account has already reached 138,000 followers, due in part to its first tweet, poking fun at CIA’s hush-hush operations.
We can neither confirm nor deny that this is our first tweet.
— CIA (@CIA) June 6, 2014
That tweet alone racked up more than 115,000 re-tweets and about 60,000 favorites at publication.
But the spies didn’t stop there with their social media coming out party. Over on Facebook, CIA launched its official profile with a first post linking to its blog and celebrating the 70th anniversary of D-Day.
“Today we honor the brave Americans who fought and served on this day in history,” the Facebook post stated. “Did you know former OSSer Virginia Hall played an important role in support D-Day.”
“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 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.”
For many, CIA’s social media launch was a lighthearted chance for users to rib at the agency that spends so much time behind closed doors.
In response to the inaugural Facebook post, one user wrote, “They always have been on facebook and twitter,” implying the agency spied on people’s profiles long before it opened its own.
Those on Twitter applauded CIA’s wit, and a few poked fun right back. One tweeter replied with a pun: “@CIA are you following me?”
In addition to engaging with the public and distributing news, CIA said it will feature artifacts and other information from the CIA’s Museum and updates from its World Factbook.