7 ways TSA creates an Instagram feed that is ‘terrifying and totally awesome’

Snakes on a plane? No, thanks. Dud hand grenades? Bullets smuggled in Bibles? TSA catches all kinds of stuff you don’t want on board, and it is using its photos to educate the public.

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You remember the good, old Transportation Security Administration, the federal agency that slows airport travel to a shuffle and peeks into your luggage when you fly.

Do you appreciate, though, what these devoted public servants and viewers of flying-public flabbiness catch every day?

Consider the knives, tomahawks, antique bombs, dud grenades, loaded firearms and hollowed-out Bibles filled with bullets that various nitwits and ne’er-do-wells try to sneak past TSA in carry-ons.

By documenting all this in photos, the TSA has won 447,000 followers on Instagram and reminded the public why a bit of patience is in order when you are asked to raise your hands and grin while standing in a digital scanner whose operator can see through your clothes.

In the Ragan Training video, “Innovate with Instagram: Secrets of building brands and followers with buzzworthy visuals,” Curtis “Bob” Burns of TSA’s office of strategic communications and public affairs explains how the agency’s Instagram account has drawn such a fascinated followership. Even Jimmy Kimmel mentioned the feed on his late-night television show.

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