Chelsea Manning, the transgender Army private imprisoned for exposing national security secrets, has joined Twitter with the help from a communications firm.
The company, Fitzgibbon Media, confirmed that it is handling Manning's account, @xychelsea, posting messages she dictates by phone and telling her about the responses.
Her introductory post went up Friday afternoon. She finished the day with seven more, thanking friends and supporters, expressing the effort it takes to Tweet by phone from prison, and promising "I don't want this Twitter feed to be a one-way street/conversation." By Friday evening she had more than 20,000 followers.
Manning revealed her gender identity as a transgender female while serving 35 years in the military prison in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas for leaking classified documents to Wikileaks.
The former Army intelligence analyst has said disillusionment with an American foreign policy bent on "killing and capturing people" motivated the release of the documents, including battlefield reports and diplomatic cables, to the anti-secrecy site in 2010.
A court ruled in March that the Army must stop referring to her as Bradley Manning and must use feminine or gender neutral pronouns in court filings.
- Chelsea Manning Allowed to Formally Change Name
— Emmanuelle Saliba