After the CIA joins Twitter, other organisations may be considering how best to use the little bird

John Rentoul on the other unlikely organisations that are, or appear to be, in the Twitterverse

When the CIA launched its Twitter account on Friday, the entire Twitterverse was shocked. You mean there are still big organisations that are not on Twitter? Most people are not on Twitter, but it is increasingly rare to find any organisation that cares about its image that does not use social media as part of its public relations.

The US Central Intelligence Agency has always been less secretive than the British intelligence agencies, the existence of which was officially acknowledged only in the 1980s. And its first tweet even made fun of the conventions of secrecy: "We can neither confirm nor deny that this is our first tweet." Just in case anyone thought this might lead to an opening of the post-Snowden and post-WikiLeaks floodgates, though, the second tweet was more reserved: "We look forward to sharing great unclassified content with you."

All the people who replied to the CIA's inaugural tweet by asking if it could remind them of their internet banking password should really have sent their messages to the US National Security Agency, however. It was the NSA that was implicated in mass monitoring of electronic metadata by Edward Snowden, and it has been on Twitter since December – although its account is curiously not listed by Twitter as "verified", unlike the CIA's.

Here we present a list of other unlikely organisations that are, or appear to be, on Twitter.

@MI6.CO.UK

Turns out to be a James Bond fan site. Perhaps the real MI6, otherwise known as SIS, the Secret Intelligence Service, which deals with abroad, is on Weibo, the Chinese equivalent of Twitter?

@MI5

This not the genuine UK domestic intelligence agency, we think. It features a picture of Lee Miller in Hitler's bath and says: “If you are a person of interest we will be following you.”

@JehovahWithUs

Not sure if it has anything to do with official Jehovah's Witnesses, as it only notes each day how many people have followed and unfollowed them (two of each yesterday). No record of how many doors were closed in their faces.

@Queen_UK

Is helpfully labelled “satire/spoof”, and we are sometimes amused: “Text from Prince Charles: ‘The King of Spain is abdicating to let his son have a go. What a nice man.' Not replying. #abdication.”

@BritishMonarchy

Is genuine, though. Promising, “Updates, pictures and videos from Buckingham Palace about the work and activities of The Royal Family and the institution of Monarchy.” it has 667,000 followers.

@ThePines

Turns out not to be the care home in Hove, capitalising on its newfound fame, thanks to escapee resident Bernard Jordan who (at the time of going to press) didn't have the expected spoof account either.

@Bilderberg

This is not run by the people who run the annual conference of influential people, but by people devoted to idea that Bilderberg is a conspiracy of the powerful.

@EnidBlytonSoc

The Secret Seven are so secret that they don't have a Twitter account, but you can follow the Enid Blyton Society instead.

@rain

is not what we might hope, the weather having no social media editor. @wimbledon_rain has sadly stopped giving precipitation updates, despite being very in demand, if only for two weeks a year. You'll have to visit @WeatherCast_UK instead.

@UGLE_GrandLodge

“Official Twitter channel of the United Grand Lodge of England, which is the governing body of Freemasonry in England, Wales and the Channel Islands.” Hiding in plain sight.

@OpusDeiUK

The once-secret Roman Catholic society has 465 followers. The Spanish branch has 25,000, US branch 2,700.

@FSB

This account has been “suspended”, according to Twitter. So perhaps it is Russia's secret service and nothing to do with the Federation of Small Businesses.

@alqaeda

“Newcomers @CIA have a verified account, while we still don't. Does @twitter prefer sinister govt. spooks to honest terrorists? #favoritism” We think it's not the official account.

@uriminzok_engl

“An English translation of @uriminzok – the official North Korea Twitter feed.” Its 3,900 followers will be disappointed if they are expecting cat pictures.

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Life and Style
Living for the moment: Julianne Moore playing Alzheimer’s sufferer Alice
health
News
Jay Z
businessJay-Z's bid for Spotify rival could be blocked
News
The spider makes its break for freedom
VIDEO
Voices
A propaganda video shows Isis forces near Tikrit
voicesAdam Walker: The Koran has violent passages, but it also has others that explicitly tells us how to interpret them
Sport
Ashley Young celebrates the winner for Manchester United against Newcastle
footballNewcastle v United player ratings
Arts and Entertainment
books
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer / Front-End Designer - City of London

    £27000 - £33000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Front-End Devel...

    Recruitment Genius: 1st Line Customer Support Technician

    £15000 - £19000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Waterlooville based softwa...

    Ashdown Group: C# Developer - (C#, VB.Net, SQL, Git, TDD)

    Negotiable: Ashdown Group: Developer (C#, VB & ASP.Net, SQL Server, TSQL) - Pe...

    Recruitment Genius: Customer Services Executive - OTE £30,000

    £16000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Salary: £16k - £20k Dependant o...

    Day In a Page

    War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

    Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

    Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
    Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

    What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

    Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
    The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

    Setting in motion the Internet of Things

    British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
    Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

    Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

    Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
    Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

    Cult competition The Moth goes global

    The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
    Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

    Pakistani women come out fighting

    Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
    Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

    Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

    The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
    LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

    Education: LGBT History Month

    Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
    11 best gel eyeliners

    Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

    Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
    Cricket World Cup 2015: Tournament runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

    Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

    The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
    Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

    Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

    After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
    Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

    Climate change key in Syrian conflict

    And it will trigger more war in future
    How I outwitted the Gestapo

    How I outwitted the Gestapo

    My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
    The nation's favourite animal revealed

    The nation's favourite animal revealed

    Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
    Is this the way to get young people to vote?

    Getting young people to vote

    From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot