Leading Meeting Professionals

Professional Convention Management Association

July 15 2013

You’ll Never Guess Who Just Joined Instagram...

David McMillin, Staff Writer

The Transportation Security Agency isn’t just scanning your luggage anymore. As TSA officials verify your ID and comb through your carry-on items, they’re adding another item to their to-do lists: post photos to Instagram.

Yes, you read that correctly. The TSA officially joined Instagram earlier this summer, and the agency’s account already has nearly 44,000 followers. While plenty of people have fallen in love with Instagram’s ability to make everyone look like a halfway-decent photographer, the TSA loves the social media tool for another reason. It highlights the agency’s ability to confiscate contraband from travelers. Click here to see the photos.

SEE ALSO: The New Social Media Tool Meeting Planners Need to Know About

From handguns to grenades to bayonets (yes, a passenger seriously tried to take a

bayonet on an airplane), the Instagram account includes some scary images of the items that travelers are actually trying to get through security. Here’s a hashtag I bet you never expected to see: #StunGun #disguised as a pack of #cigarettes discovered at #Cleveland.

It turns out that the TSA has been active online for quite a while now. After stumbling upon the agency’s Instagram account, I found the official TSA blog, which offers weekly updates on the number of firearms discovered along with additional travel tips. Bob Burns, a former TSA security officer, now regularly blogs for the agency with headlines such as “Flying with Deodorant Isn’t a Sticky Situation” and “Fireworks Don’t Fly (On Airplanes).”

SEE ALSO: 3 Reasons Why Meeting Planners Should Use Instagram

Right now, the images are all intimidating, but I’m hoping the TSA can lighten up a bit. Perhaps they’ll start including filtered images of travelers heading to Vegas for a long weekend.

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