The CIA joined Instagram yesterday (April 25) and users have been trying to decode the first post shared by the agency.
The intelligence service shared a photo of a desk covered with different items, including cufflinks, maps, and case files.
A wig is seen on a chair in front of the desk, alongside a security badge with an old photo of current CIA director Gina Haspel.
The agency’s new followers have flooded the comments on the post with their interpretations of the items seen in the photo. Amongst them are a message in Arabic written in a notebook that translates to “Share what we can, protect what we must”, a clock stopped at 08:46 – the time when the World Trade Center’s North Tower was struck on September 11 – and a star that is given to the families of fallen CIA officers.
Some commenters tried to use the items to create a picture of the agent who the desk belonged to. “The agent who has this desk is woman in her late 30s to early forties who uses a disguise which reads much older,” wrote @haverfilms. “She carries her wig in the striped paper bag. Her alarm is currently set to regularly go off at ten o’clock. The bamboo plant appears tropical which may signify her area of recent deployment.”
They conceded, however, that the “staged nature” of the photo could indicate that the agency was trying to spread disinformation and the reality was, in fact, the opposite. You can view the post above.
A spokesperson for the CIA said the agency’s decision to join Instagram was made, in part, with the hope of attracting a new generation of agents and analysts. “We’re looking to spark the curiosity of Instagram’s users about the many ways CIA’s global mission has us going where others cannot go, and doing what others cannot do,” they said.
“Joining Instagram is another way we’re sharing stories and recruiting talented Americans to serve. Through the Instagram account, we’ll give a peek into agency life, but we can’t promise any selfies from secret locations.”