It's been one month since the Central Intelligence Agency joined Twitter to much ado. Whoever has been running the account appears to have been on a monthlong bender, because on Monday, @CIA decided to answer some frequently asked questions. The results are silly.
No, we don’t know where Tupac is. #twitterversary— CIA (@CIA) July 7, 2014
The CIA’s reputation hasn’t been doing too well recently, and the move to join Twitter is in all likelihood an attempt to woo young Americans. For 20-somethings, the reputation of the agency -- and the broader intelligence community -- has been mostly shaped by the blown call on Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction and by Edward Snowden’s revelations of mass surveillance. The agency’s Twitter persona is trying really, really hard to speak to these Americans. But, like parents trying to sound cool enough to talk to their kids, the whole thing is a little awkward to watch.
Here, America’s spies try to get in on World Cup fever:
Nothing says being hip to the concerns of young Americans like a #tbt photograph of George H.W. Bush during his days as CIA director:
Hipsters love art, right? So of course the agency is alluding to its efforts to support modern art as a propaganda tool during the Cold War:
Dipping their toes into the stream of irony with a reference to that time CIA planes were mistaken for UFOs:
And then of course there was the agency’s first tweet, which really wasn’t funny:
We can neither confirm nor deny that this is our first tweet.— CIA (@CIA) June 6, 2014
So is the agency’s campaign working? I don’t know, as I can’t seem to tell whether the Twitter users of the world are laughing with the agency or at it. I don’t think the CIA knows either.