The Central Intelligence Agency is working to win the hearts and minds of young Americans by going woke; using cat pictures and feminist memes to rebrand itself to the likeness of Generation Z. A report by Politico called it the agency’s “least covert mission,” critical users online are calling it the agency’s latest psychological operation. However you want to spin it, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is on social media with the goal of rallying public support from America’s youth – Generation Z.
Generation Z, popularly referred to as “Gen Z” or “Zoomers,” is a blanket term used to describe individuals born from the years 1997 to 2012, ranging from 6-24 years old.
The CIA first joined the social media platforms Facebook and Twitter in 2014, “creating one of the federal government’s quirkiest, creative, and controversial PR campaigns,” reported Politico. Their aim was to “dispel some of the negative press and conspiracy theories that have dogged the agency over the years by showing the public that CIA staffers are just like us.”
“There’s people who don’t realize that we have a softer side here,” said CIA social media team leader Candice Bryant, who has been at the agency for almost two decades. “So our audience is really the entirety of the American public.”
Now, the CIA has an Instagram account with 398,000 followers, a YouTube account with 60,000 subscribers, a Facebook account with 993,000 likes, and a Twitter account with 3.2 million followers. The agency is considering making a TikTok account, widely utilized by Gen-Z, but is supposedly concerned about the “Chinese risk,” according to a spokesperson.
“The team has harnessed social media tropes and hashtags including Girl Boss-y posts touting “Women Crush Wednesday,” #KnowYourValue, pumpkin spice lattes, cat photos, #TuesdayTrivia, and a recurring “Humans of CIA” series modeled on the popular “Humans of New York” photography project that went viral just over a decade ago,” the Politico report states.
However, the report also notes that the CIA social media accounts do not post anything about the agencies more questionable operations; “waterboarding, drone strikes, bad WMD intelligence, failed coups, or even successful coups.”
“You want people to be able to see themselves here, not just a certain kind of person,” explained Bryant.
Don’t even Gen-Z-ers know that the CIA collects intelligence and kills people, at least, historically? Why in the hell does that need a softer side?
— Stn (@s_neemer) September 8, 2021
Not surprising as the CIA invented psych-ops.
— Derrick Wilkinson (@DGWilkinson) September 8, 2021
The news comes nearly one month after Twitter announced that they will be collaborating with AP and Reuters to “identify and elevate credible information,” according to a post on August 2. One online user pointed out that the Senior Director of Reuters, Dawn Scalici, who served 33 years in the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), was tasked with “advancing Thomson Reuters’ ability to meet the disparate needs of the U.S. Government.”