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The CIA announced Monday that Molly Hale, the pseudonymous agent fielding questions from the public, will now take inquiries via Twitter with #AskMollyHale. Almost immediately, the trolls rolled in.
Since 2002, CIA agents have been answering emails, faxes, phone calls, and letters under the name Molly Hale. The CIA says various agents have acted as Molly, although it’s unclear whether running the service is a full-time role or part-time duty.
To kick off our inaugural Ask Molly column, here’s a quick peek of a common question asked of Molly upon (virtually) meeting her:— CIA (@CIA) February 4, 2019
Who are you?
For the answer, you’ll have to visit CIAgov: https://t.co/OrOqKaVfHM#AskMollyHale pic.twitter.com/vD7NRhtgqA
In its announcement on its website Monday, the CIA explained that a new column called Ask Molly will tackle civilians’ questions posted to Twitter and Facebook with #AskMollyHale.
Some on Twitter took the opportunity to ask questions in earnest.
#AskMollyHale Do you give tours of the CIA headquarters?— Karen (@Kareletta) February 4, 2019
No, but we have our own #K9 Corps!— CIA (@CIA) February 4, 2019
Our K9 officers serve as the 1st line of defense against explosive threats to CIA personnel & buildings.@SylkeFoubert, you can learn about our #CIAK9 “puppy classes” & see lots of photos here: https://t.co/e5EZqBYbkA
~ Molly#AskMollyHale https://t.co/OSxbAzCDas
But many others had questions that might prove more difficult for Molly to answer.
Dear Molly,— Russia International News 🇷🇺 (@russia_watch) February 4, 2019
Are there CIA agents in Venezuela. If you don't respond that means yes because you cant respond to anything confidential. #AskMollyHale
#ASKMOLLYHALE WHY FROM 2006 to 2017, DID the IRS spent $15.5 Million to purchase military style guns, equipment, and ammo— Barbara Espinosa (@1Barbara1) February 4, 2019
Why is the agency tasked with collecting our taxes militarizing itself?
Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like the CIA will be up for tackling the tough queries. The agency said Molly won’t respond to “conspiracies, theories, trolls, or spam.” She also won’t answer questions related to applying to the CIA for employment, the Freedom of Information Act, or—obviously—anything classified.
Please note, there are a few things that, unfortunately, Molly cannot answer:— CIA (@CIA) February 4, 2019
- application questions
- conspiracy theories, trolls, or spam
- FOIA inquires
- and this one should be obvious… she won’t answer anything classified#AskMollyHale
Kris Seavers is the IRL editor for the Daily Dot. Her work has appeared in Central Texas publications, including Austin Monthly and San Antonio Magazine, and on NPR.