YOU MAY REMEMBER a month ago when the CIA joined the ranks of Twitter with this surprisingly light-hearted tweet:
With almost 225,000 retweets, it practically broke Twitter.
Since then it has mostly been tweeting excerpts from speeches or facts about the CIA.
To celebrate its one-month anniversary on Twitter, however, the intelligence agency decided to let loose and address some of its most frequently asked questions and proceeded to tell a couple of gags.
However, the playful nature of the account has come in for some criticism from Twitter users and commentators alike, who find it to be at odds with the organisation’s decidedly chequered past.
Others just thought the attempt to be down with the kids was embarrassing.
Writing for The Guardian, CIA veteran Emily Brandwin said:
We haven’t forgotten about Benghazi or torture, and painfully awkward tweets – like watching-your-dad-dance-to-CeeLo-at-your-wedding awkward – won’t make the CIA appear soft and fuzzy, just woefully disconnected from reality.
The Independent described the #twitterversary gags as “a new low” and likened them to “dad jokes”.
The Sydney Morning Herald asked, “Is someone drunk tweeting from the CIA twitter account?”
Buzzfeed proposed that the CIA “just quit Twitter”.
Others also pointed out the slight awkwardness of the Tupac comment given that the late rapper’s godmother Assata Shakur is on the FBI’s Most Wanted List for escaping prison while serving a life term for the murder of a state trooper.
Since the #twitterversary, the account has kept a relatively low profile, sticking to posting relatively straightforward tweets. Whether this criticism will cause it to adopt a more sober tone going forward remains to be seen.