The Central Intelligence Agency is announcing today that it’s getting into the social media biz. “@CIA” will be its handle on Twitter, the short-attention-span platform with 255 million monthly active users, and it’ll also launch on Facebook.
Don’t get too excited, however, about the level of detail in the tweets and Facebook posts. Though a press release on the new accounts says that the agency will post the “latest news, statements, and career information,” consider the order that came down from the director of national intelligence earlier this year. It stipulated a requirement that intelligence employees seek authorization before talking to the media about a broad basket of “intelligence-related information.”
Given such constraints, it’s a safe bet that the published information will go heavy on promotional fare. The press release notes that tweets will showcase “artifacts and other information from the CIA’s Museum — the best museum most people never get to see. 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.”
Here’s the way the CIA Twitter page looked just before it posted its first tweet.
Hold on a second, though: How did the CIA get control of the @CIA handle? A department spokesperson responds, “CIA filed an impersonation complaint with Twitter and they secured the @CIA account for us, which is routine for government agencies.”