News

Sassy (now deleted) Tweet from US agency adds to country’s fractious relationship with China

Posted by
Tristan Cross
Published

Indignation is a powerful emotion. It accesses the flight-or-fight part of your brain and jams its foot on the accelerate towards ‘fight, definitely fight, c’mon let’s show this clown, fight.’ It’s often a moment of reckless fury often followed by a longer moment of intense regret and shame.

It’s taking someone’s playful dig the wrong way, launching into a far ruder and unnecessarily cutting version of “I know you are, but what am I?” and then finding yourself ejected from the dinner party. It’s whacking your shin on a coffee table, seeing red and putting your foot through it in an attempt to teach it a lesson. It’s being the US Defense Intelligence Agency, seeing President Barack Obama seemingly shaded at the G20 summit – where his Air Force One was greeted with no red carpet and had to leave by a different airplane exit – jumping on Twitter and venting like a pop star scorned at the VMAs.

The furious sass:

The instantaneous regret:

Woops.

That's the DIA pulling the trademark “trolls/my brother/my mates hacked our account and posted that” excuse when someone realises their sarky joke might play quite badly. And this is ‘quite badly’ as in; “potential to dramatically increase tensions between two of the world’s biggest superpowers.” 

It’s quite weird to imagine someone working for the DIA, one of the most heavily classified institutions in the world – a place where you imagine you have to have all of your passwords surgically imprinted on your eyeballs and have two heavily armed guards stand either side of you at all times of typing – and blunderingly getting their Twitter accounts mixed up.

Now consider how alarming it is that all that's separating us from a potential massive global war is the competence of social media managers in not posting misjudged memes. We can shake our heads at the celebs that accidentally leak their nudes, but at least their dickpics have probably never caused a major diplomatic incident between the United States and China.