About That Tupac Post: The CIA Is Weirding Us Out On Twitter

Everyone on Twitter cares about branding, including the CIA. But what brand are they trying to project here?

About That Tupac Post: The CIA Is Weirding Us Out On Twitter
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Do you know where Tupac Shakur is? Well, the CIA does not. And apparently that's something the agency feels it needs to say as part of an online branding effort. (Via Flickr / Tupac Amaru Shakur)

The CIA posted this to Twitter after promising to answer a few frequently asked questions, so apparently someone was wondering. The post got 69,000 retweets, probably because this is a really bizarre thing to say.

Tupac is a rapper who died in 1996 and now only occasionally reappears in holographic form at music festivals. Few people hold the CIA responsible. (Via YouTube / westfesttv)

But they might now. Reacting to Monday's Tweet, The Verge asks, "Did the CIA once have, and then lose, Tupac?" while Slate says whoever wrote the post must think Tupac is "interchangeable with, say, Amelia Earhart or the Roswell alien."

But you can at least say this for the CIA's Twitter presence: it has carried a pretty consistent tone since logging on June 6. And that tone is surprisingly playful coming from an agency that's been overthrowing foreign governments since before most of us were born. 

Its first Tweet read "We can neither confirm nor deny that this is our first tweet." An overshadowed one from Monday asked for a selfie with Ellen Degeneres.

All this inevitably leads to questions like this one from The Washington Post, "When Hamburger Helper tweets from its weird Twitter account, the purpose is (relatively) clear: Sell their hamburger helper. What's the CIA want to do?"

Now, granted, the majority of the CIA's Tweets just show off old artifacts or give quotes from the agency director, but one thing is clear: even the CIA cares about branding, and that's why it's on Twitter —

— and on YouTube

BRADLEY, THE EXPLOSIVE DETECTION K-9 OFFICER: "Hi! My name's Bradley. I'm an explosive detection K-9 officer at the CIA!"

Because cloak-and-dagger spying with a friendly face is just easier to swallow.