Well, it’s only one day into May and the worst social media idea of the month might have already arrived. The official Twitter account of the CIA, verified and everything, is tweeting the Osama Bin Laden raid as it happened minute by minute. As today is the fifth anniversary of the raid that succeeded in killing the Al Qaeda leader and mastermind, it makes sense that the agency would be proud of their handiwork and find a way to mark the occasion. However, it seems a little gauche to re-live a military operation that ended in such a high-profile death via Twitter. I guess the CIA doesn’t much care what internet commenters think of their social media strategy though. Bigger fish to fry in the world and all that.
One benefit of being able to follow the timeline as it happened (after so many years) is that it offers a glimpse into how quickly everything went down once the raid began. At the time, details only came out after US citizens were informed that Bin Laden had been found and killed. (Of course, it turns out it was actually live-tweeted in the truest sense of the phrase but that was a complete accident and without all the facts.)
The CIA is also including details about how the Navy SEALs involved in the raid learned about the compound’s location and their training that led up to the night itself. However, these interesting details could have been released in a blog post or short video, rather than sending them out over Twitter. Even though he was the most wanted man in the world, for the United States anyway, it seems a bit strange to be reliving an assassination on social media.
Maybe they’ll make it an annual tradition and start dropping in Easter Eggs about the operation with every passing year. It’s not like they’ve magically unsealed documents related to the raid now that five years have passed. Who knows, since Obama will be out of office by this time next year, he might take on live-tweeting responsibilities from his own account with added commentary. Now that would be a treat.