When you think of Instagram accounts that garner the most views, you think Taylor Swift, Beyonce or that really adorable viral dog. But, what about the Transportation Security Administration? If you aren’t following the security provider on Instagram, you’re missing out. Even Rolling Stone ranked their profile as No. 4 on their “100 best Instagram accounts” list.
So, what makes this profile so unique? After two years on Instagram, the TSA found their calling: posting pictures of the weirdest, prohibited items that travelers try to carry into the airport.
We aren’t just talking guns or bombs. There are lots of swords, grenades, even a live bird shoved in a sock.
Even Batman seemed to have problems catching his flight.
The man behind the Instagram account is Bob Burns. As the TSA’s social media specialist, he knew with Instagram’s popularity and the crazy photos, it would be a hit.
“To me it was a no-brainer that people would enjoy seeing what we had to share, and once we started sharing photos, it just took off,” Burns says.
He was definitely on to something. The profile has more than 300,000 followers.
Burns still picks out which photos get posted. He chooses from a plethora of photos that TSA supervisors submit with incident reports.
“I can end up, on a weekly basis, requesting 50 to 75 photos and maybe end up using 20 to 25 of them,” he says.