LISTENING POST the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has joined Twitter and Facebook and welcomed itself into the social networking world with a pithy hello.
The CIA has been slow to join Twitter, while other equally cuddly US agencies like the National Security Agency (NSA) joined earlier. In fact the CIA account follows those of 25 others that are government or military entities.
The agency kicked off its Twitter presence with a not very comforting look at how it might present the truth on the website.
"We can neither confirm nor deny that this is our first tweet," it said. Later it added, "Thank you for the @Twitter welcome! We look forward to sharing great #unclassified content with you."
The account has picked up hundreds of thousands of followers and the messages have been retweeted about as often.
They have elicited a range of responses, most of which have taken the tongue in cheek approach to this new culture of potential openness.
Wikileaks, which is to the CIA what chewing gum is to hair, delivered one of the best reactions and welcomed the Twitter newcomers in its own style.
However it also greeted the arrival with caution, and pointed followers to the CIA bio on the social networking website.
It said that the statement, "We are the Nation's first line of defense. We accomplish what others cannot accomplish and go where others cannot go," is a nod at the CIA's illegal activities.
The CIA has also joined Facebook. We imagine, at least for the time being, that its account will be low on selfies and high on self-promotion.
"CIA welcomes your comments, however we wish to maintain the decorum appropriate to a taxpayer-funded organization, we will moderate, and delete as necessary, comments deemed inappropriate using the guidelines below. Failure to adhere to these guidelines may result in the author(s) being blocked from this page without notice," it said by way of introduction.
"Do not post graphic, obscene, sexually explicit or racially offensive comments or content. We also will not tolerate comments that are abusive, hateful, slanderous or that are intended to defame anyone or any organisation. All content must be unclassified. Do not post any content that may be considered classified, sensitive, or that would cause immediate and undue harm to a person or organisation." µ
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