“No, we don’t know where Tupac is,” The CIA tweeted in 2014.
In 2016, the company tweeted one Real-time reporting of the raid to destroy Osama bin Laden on its fifth anniversary. An agency spokesperson told ABC at the time that the tweets were intended to “remember that day and honor all who have contributed to this achievement.” However, this move was largely interrupted and led many to question why an intelligence agency needs a presence on social media.
The CIA’s own Instagram account features a hilarious series of photos including #humansofCIA, which highlights the staff. The agency, which did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Thursday, also recently rebranded its website with a clear minimal aesthetic.
Other intelligence agencies, including the FBI, have Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Instagram and YouTube accounts, and are active on social media.
Michael Landon-Murray, a professor at Colorado Colorado Springs University who has studied the use of social media by US intelligence agencies, says that the social network has become part of “image management and brand “for the intelligence agencies and” a box to check out. “
“A lot of what intelligence agencies do is inherently ugly business,” he said. Social media can be a way for organizations to unravel the public about their activities and “look cool, look funny – in a sense it’s almost a scam,” he said. .
People who follow intelligence agencies on social media tend to fully support them or oppose them, he said.
“I think there are potential useful uses and, ultimately, I hope that if the public understands intelligence agencies better, we can have better conversations about things like the effectiveness of advanced interrogation techniques, ”he said.