Image Source: Twitter
Snowden—whose leaked revelations included intel on the National Security Agency’s cellphone hacking and tracking activities—joined Twitter and made a cellphone joke with his first tweet. “Can you hear me now?” he wrote, in a short message that sent the social network into a tizzy. Snowden’s first words on his verified account were borrowed from an old television commercial for Verizon, in which an actor playing a technician tested the range of the company’s wireless network.
When Snowden disclosed the scope of N.S.A. surveillance and the role of American communications companies by leaking classified documents in 2013, the first revelation was a secret court order compelling Verizon to give the N.S.A. information on all telephone calls in its systems, which was published by The Guardian.
Within half an hour of going up, his tweet had been retweeted more than 13,000 times and he racked up more than 160,000 followers on the network, several users noted that he was following only one account: that of the N.S.A. At the time this post was written, his follower count stood at over 995k.
Dr. Tyson, the astrophysicist and television host, was among the many users of the network to welcome the whistle-blower, and the first Mr. Snowden responded to, striking up a brief conversation.
— Neil deGrasse Tyson (@neiltyson) September 29, 2015
.@neiltyson Thanks for the welcome. And now we've got water on Mars! Do you think they check passports at the border? Asking for a friend.
— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) September 29, 2015