Edward Snowden receives 47GB worth of notifications after forgetting to turn off Twitter notifications

His first tweet was shared nearly 120,000 times

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The Independent US

It's a mistake we've all made when joining a new social network: forgetting to turn off email notifications and being bombarded with them for days.

Surprisingly, however, for one of the most famous internet privacy activists of recent history, NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden made the same blunder – receiving 47 gigabytes worth of email notifications within three days of joining Twitter. 

Snowden went on the run after leaking classified documents exposing the extent of the US Government's internet and phone surveillance, becoming arguably the world's most notorious whistleblower. He claimed asylum in Russia, where he lives today.

His first tweet, a simple "Can you hear me now?" has been retweeted nearly 120,000 times.

The US charged Snowden with theft of government property, unauthorised communication of national defence information and wilful communication of classified communications intelligence - charges which all carry maximum 10-year prison sentences. 

Since joining Twitter, his account, @Snowden, has gained around 1.23 million followers. 

His Twitter bio provides a concise summary of his career to date: "I used to work for the government. Now I work for the public." He is also the director of Freedom of the Press, a foundation dedicated to ensuring transparency in journalism in adverse situations.

The only person Snowden follows so far is the National Security Agency's official account.