C.I.A.'s followers mistake Kiribati for Samoa

A poll conducted earlier this month by the United States' Central Intelligence Agency (C.I.A.) found that their Twitter followers have a lot to learn about the geography of the South Pacific. 

The C.I.A. poll was conducted on the social media site last Tuesday 13 January and asked users to identify an island nation from an overhead shot of a satellite image. 

The image was accompanied by clues: that the island is one of the first to celebrate New Year's Day and is four times the size of America’s capital. 

Three options were provided: Kiribati; Samoa; and Iceland. 

The correct answer was Kiribati. 

But some 47 per cent of the more than 13,500 poll respondents chose Samoa as the answer. 

Only about 41 per cent correctly identified the image as Kiribati, while some 11.4  per cent chose Iceland. 

The C.I.A. has a Twitter following of more than three million people. 

The poll was a means of promoting the agency’s world-famous “World Factbook”, the latest edition of which was produced one week earlier on 7 January. 

The book, which is written in an encyclopedia-style, was originally prepared for the use of American Government officials but has grown in popularity and is used as a source for academic researchers and the general public alike. 

The resource provides basic intelligence on the history, people, Government, and geography (among other details) for 266 world entities including Samoa. 

Kiribati was a British colony before it gained its independence in 1979 and changed its name from the Gilbert Islands to Kiribati.



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