BND launches channel on Instagram | Free press

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Berlin (dpa) – “Greetings from Mitte”: The Federal Intelligence Service (BND) is expanding its social media activities with its own Instagram account.

The German foreign secret service, headquartered in Berlin-Mitte, launched its own channel in the social network on Monday, which is especially popular with adolescents and young adults. The appearance serves to attract young talent.

“A modern employer should also be there where applicants may be jumping around,” said BND chairman Bruno Kahl of the German news agency in Berlin. The BND was previously known for its strict restraint in public.

In addition to a modern website, the BND has been represented on the YouTube video portal since November 2018, but has only over 1000 subscribers there. In March, the Secret Service launched a campaign on Twitter (“#FollowTheGlitchKarnickel”) to recruit experts from the hacker scene. However, the BND is not planning its own Twitter channel, such as that operated by the domestic secret service, the federal agency for the protection of the constitution, with over 28,000 followers.

Its presence on Instagram should be a “milestone” in 65, after the BND was officially founded. Kahl stressed, “We need to take modern avenues to give school leavers, university graduates and young professionals in particular a glimpse of the professional opportunities offered by an international operational security authority”.

US agencies such as the FBI (nearly 2 million subscribers), the CIA (nearly 400,000 subscribers) or the British domestic secret service MI5 (over 100,000 subscribers) have highly regarded Instagram appearances. The BND hopes to reach a maximum of 60,000 Instagram users per month. That would mean that so many users have viewed the BND content at least once.

“An intelligence agency cannot speak publicly about its operations, secret findings and methods,” said Kahl, explaining the reluctance. “We will also not have political discussions on Instagram.” The BND rather wants to create a place “where interested parties can get an overview of our tasks, insight into our daily life and get an impression of the people who work at the Federal Intelligence Service for the security of Germany”.

After a two-year planning phase, the BND set up its own editorial team in January with a handful of experts for the presence on Instagram. The team consists of young employees who have experience with social media from management consultancies or business associations. With Instagram, the service wants to appeal to young people in the MINT professions, in particular in mathematics, IT, natural sciences and technology.

In order for the BND, which used to deal with foreclosure to appear more alive, personal anecdotes from employees must also be found on Instagram – but for the sake of secrecy, without face or name. This includes photos with impressions of workplaces – such as that of a golden Asian waving cat. It’s “totally cheesy, but I love it,” writes one staff member. “It reminds me of my last big trip for Corona. I bought it from Chinatown, Singapore. “