MI5 HAS “stepped out of the shadows” and joined Instagram with the specific aim of lifting the lid on what it’s really like to work at the Security Service. MI5’s social media content will “bust popular myths” about its work, explain the world of intelligence, promote career opportunities and “bring to life” events in MI5’s 112-year past.
Followers of the new account – which may be followed @mi5official – can also expect interactive content, including the opportunity to engage in Q&As with the organisation’s intelligence officers.
In his first media engagement as the new director general of MI5 back in October last year, Ken McCallum explained: “If I want one thing to characterise my tenure in this role, it’s for MI5 to open up and reach out in new ways.” He stressed the importance of MI5 communicating more about its work, saying: “Much of what we do needs to remain invisible, but what we are doesn’t have to be. In fact, opening up will be key to our future success.”
MI5 hopes that Instagram will also provide a new way of communicating with younger audiences. McCallum stressed: “MI5 really does need a rich mix of talented people from across all of the UK’s communities. In today’s wonderfully diverse UK, we want to spread our net as widely as possible, including an engagement with people who haven’t ever thought of applying to work here.”
MI5’s move into social media follows a series of notable ‘firsts’ for the organisation. In October 2017, the (then) director general Sir Andrew Parker was the first serving director general to be interviewed on television. The following year, he delivered his first live televised speech from Berlin.
In early 2020, MI5 was the subject of a ‘fly on the wall’ documentary produced by ITV. This was the very first time that the organisation had allowed television cameras from the media inside its headquarters to follow the dedicated, diligent and absolutely vital work of counter-terrorist investigators.