GCHQ has joined Twitter and posted a computer programming in-joke as its first message as the agency looks to entice more talented coders.
Hello, world. https://t.co/SROtSsE8KB— GCHQ (@GCHQ) May 16, 2016
The account will be used to discuss GCHQ's business, history and current objectives, according to the official information, and will feature job opportunities and links to news, blogs and opinion pieces.
The @GCHQ account is following over 40 others, including James Bond, the Royal Family and the Home Office, and has picked up over 7,000 followers since launch.
Andrew Pike, director of communications at GCHQ, explained the reason for joining Twitter in a post on the organisation's website.
"In joining social media GCHQ can use its own voice to talk directly about the important work we do in keeping Britain safe," said Andrew Pike, director of communications at GCHQ.
"We want GCHQ to be more accessible and to help the public understand more about our work. We also want to reach out to the technical community and add our voice to social media conversations about technology, maths, cyber security and other topics where we have a view."
He also explained that the first message was a coding in-joke to highlight the sort of people GCHQ is actively looking to recruit as cyber becomes central to its operations.
"Our first tweet, ‘Hello, world', is one of the first programs you learn to write in coding languages such as C, Python, Java, PHP and Ruby," Pike said.
"For those just starting to program, getting ‘Hello, world' to appear on a screen is a gentle introduction to coding, and as a technical organisation with computing at its core, it resonated with many of our staff who have learnt to program during their career."
The arrival of GCHQ on Twitter prompted the expected response, many joking that the agency already knew what people were up to without having to join the site.
@GCHQ hi! Presumably to DM you we just need to say it out loud in our kitchen while our phone's nearby, right? :)— Chris T-T (@christt) May 16, 2016
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