Edward Snowden joined Twitter at the end of September, and he’s been on a roll ever since. He’s gone from an unknown U.S. government contractor-spy, sitting behind a computer in a virtual dungeon, to a bonafide Casanova, basking in the limelight.
He’s averaged 16,000 new Twitter followers a day, and, like the ironist he’s shown himself to be, follows just one account: the NSA. He even got whoever had @snowden to give up their handle.
Among his 1.75 million followers, there’s a subset of “admirers” — to put it lightly. And there’s a gallery, growing by the day, of Edward Snowden fan art, that is, at times, NSFW. All this attraction is understandable, of course: He’s a wanted man, a vagabond vigilante, and he, generally, seems to give zero fucks.
Sorry “ladies,” Snowden is taken. “#AndIHaveAGirl”:
One could postulate that it’s just another phase of his plan to incite other would-be whistleblowers. Tell a group of 10 average Americans that if they leak these confidential documents they’ll be doing an incredible and incalculable service to their fellow citizens, and you might capture the imagination of one. Promise a group of 10 average Americans heaps of honor and praise and respect for the same deed, and you might motivate three of them; the other seven will ask how much money is in it for them.
Promise that same group of Americans an ever-expanding bounty of — ahem — “admirers,” though, and you’ll likely entice eight.
Snowden’s humble brag, therefore, serves both to encourage his fellow Americans, and also to earn him relationship points. Here’s a short list of the (public) things that Snowden’s girlfriend, Lindsay Mills, has already put up with:
- Snowden’s unexplained disappearance
- Forced defection
- Eternal surveillance
Now add to that list “a consistent supply of strangers sliding into Snowden’s DMs,” and you begin to respect the strength of their relationship.
John Oliver may hold the title, though, because, unlike these virtual posers, he’s actually given Snowden a photo in person. And Oliver then used that gag to demonstrate why these shameless Twitter folk should not be sending nudes. Especially not to Snowden, who, as he points out, is probably one of the more surveilled people on the planet.