The CIA's First Tweet Is...

...pretty darn cheeky, the Wall Street Journal says
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 6, 2014 4:55 PM CDT
The CIA's First Tweet Is...
Packets containing declassified documents by the CIA sit on a table at an event marking the declassification at the Carter Center, Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013, in Atlanta.   (AP Photo/David Goldman)

The CIA joined Twitter today with a message that the Wall Street Journal calls "cheeky": "We can neither confirm nor deny that this is our first tweet." Within an hour the agency had more than 85,000 followers, and the tweet had been retweeted 70,000 times—so what took the CIA so long to join? Red tape, for one thing: "This has been a lengthy process," said an agency spokesman. The CIA also had to take the handle @CIA from someone who was "impersonating CIA via Twitter," the spokesman said. The agency filed a complaint, and Twitter secured the account, "which is routine for government agencies." Other agencies posted cheeky replies to @CIA, as ABC News and The Verge report:

But not everyone was smiling: "The CIA’s first Tweet would be funny if it weren’t for the agency’s use of torture and extrajudicial executions," said an Amnesty International official. "They should put as least as much effort into following the law as they do into social media." As for what to expect from the CIA tweet-wise, the Journal and the Washington Post agree it will likely be promotional fare. The CIA says it will highlight "artifacts" from its museum and data from the agency's "World Factbook." For more CIA, check out its website and YouTube and Flickr accounts. (More CIA stories.)

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