Edward Snowden has opened a Twitter account with the handle @Snowden, and predictably enough, the NSA leaker extraordinaire has drawn some considerable attention – and plenty of followers.
His bio reads: ‘I used to work for the government. Now I work for the public. Director at @FreedomofPress.’
And Snowden’s opening tweet was: ‘Can you hear me now?’
Yes, he may be hiding away in Russia, but he still wants to be heard.
And plenty of people are listening – it’s now 16 hours since he made that first tweet, and he has accrued 874,000 followers. A million followers within the first 24 hours beckons…
As he dryly observed in his latest tweet: ‘Meanwhile, a thousand people at Fort Meade just opened Twitter.’
Snowden further stated that ‘Surveillance never sleeps, and secret projects @FreedomofPress are keeping me busy.’
He was also asked by Neil deGrasse Tyson (host of the StarTalk radio show which has previously interviewed Snowden): ‘Many call you Hero, others Traitor. Whatever else you are, you’re a Geek to me. What do you say to those labels?’
To which he replied: ‘Hero, traitor -- I'm just a citizen with a voice.’
According to Reuters, who ran an algorithm that analysed the sentiment of posts concerning Snowden, Twitter’s reaction to the whistle-blower’s new account was largely positive, with around seven positive tweets for every negative one.
Freedom of the Press, the organisation Snowden is Director of, which pledges to defend and support ‘cutting-edge transparency journalism in the face of adversity’, welcomed him to Twitter, and added: ‘We're really excited about this! We'll have more info about our plans in coming weeks. Stay tuned…’