Behind the numbers: Edward Snowden joins Twitter

Article published on Oct. 6, 2015
Article published on Oct. 6, 2015

Edward Snowden, the former NSA employee who published groundbreaking revelations regarding the true extent of the organisations surveillance systems on Wikileaks, has created an offical Twitter account. In a few short hours he had amassed over a million followers. And guess what? They're listening.

"Can you hear me now?" That was the first tweet published by Edward Snowden on his official Twitter account on Tuesday 29th September. Just one tweet garnered the Wikileaks founder nearly a million followers on the social network.

In fact, just four days after he joined the site, Snowden gathered a total of 1 230 000 followers with just 14 tweets. These numbers show the extent of the resounding impact that the whistleblower has had on civil society, since he made public top-secret information concerning online surveillance systems and the wider spying programs used by the National Security Agency, his former employer. In what could be a deliberately cheeky move, the soul account that Snowden has chosen to follow on Twitter is that of the NSA.

"I used to work for the government. Now I work for the public." The description on his profile lets us know the intended audience of his cryptic first tweet. From now on, we can hear you Edward. Though if anyone is still having difficulty with that, you can check out the map below which shows the global reaction to the appearance of Snowden on Twitter.