Snowden hits 1m Twitter followers — we can hear you now

30 Sep 2015

In news sure to annoy attention-hungry tweeters all across the land, Edward Snowden’s nascent social media account has hit 1m followers in less than 24 hours.

Snowden officially joined Twitter yesterday after most Europeans had gone home from work, capturing a few hundred thousand followers in just two hours.

That wasn’t merely an early surge as, since around 6pm yesterday, he has added around about 800 followers a minute, hitting the 1m mark this afternoon.

He follows just one account, the NSA’s official Twitter. I guess it’s about time he starts following them, edging @NSAGov just over the ‘10pc of Snowden followers’ mark.

In his personal description he says: “I used to work for the government. Now I work for the public.”

The Snowden Treaty

He joins the social media service just a few days after his name was put to a treaty that, if signed, would protect individual privacy, shield surveillance and defend whistleblowers.

Dubbed the Snowden Treaty, it calls on signatories to end mass surveillance, and “consider data protection and the right to privacy in all future programmes and policies”.

It comes after two-and-a-half-years of leaks by Snowden, whose revelations have included the extreme lengths both the US and UK surveillance divisions (NSA and GCHQ respectively) will go to in order to consume as much data from citizens all over the world as possible.

Snowden followers on Twitter

And Twitter, it seems, is a happier place now that the whistleblower has joined the fold: his first tweet simply reading ‘Can you hear me now?’, a nod to a Verizon advertising campaign.

Snowden’s activity has been a little light, with just a couple of tweets and a running conversation with Neil deGrasse Tyson.

Although not everybody is happy with the situation.

Main image via Ajehals on Flickr

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic