Diplomacy in the age of social media

That social media has revolutionized the way we communicate in every aspect is certainly not news to us. Not only individuals, but also companies, public administrations, newspapers, TV shows...
diplomacy and social media

That social media has revolutionized the way we communicate in every aspect is certainly not news to us. Not only individuals, but also companies, public administrations, newspapers, TV shows and decision makers fell in the vortex of this fast, rich and free way to communicate with a potentially infinite number of readers/listeners.

Diplomacy is not immune to this. Embassies, Permanent Representatives, International Forums, UN Agencies, Ambassadors and many more, all have a Facebook and/or a Twitter account through which they share news, updates, statements, infographics or documents. The world once known as the “no comment” world, where spies, intrigues and secrets “undercover” decided the destiny of countries came to light and face communication 2.0.

What happened yesterday (28th of August) is a nice (and funny) example of how the power of social media can be publicly misused by those who are accountable for managing it.

The official Twitter account of the Canadian Joint Delegation to NATO (@CanadaNATO) decided to take a strong stance against the fresh trespass of Russian soldiers in Ukrainian territory and published a tweet with a map in which it ironically reminded their Russian colleagues what is Russian territory and what is not.
[tweet https://twitter.com/CanadaNATO/status/504651534198927361 width=’300′]
It didn’t take long for the answer to come: the official Twitter account of the Permanent Mission of Russia to NATO “helped” their Canadian colleagues with contemporary geography of Europe publishing a tweet with a map in which Crimea is clearly included in Russian Territory, as well as Abkhazia and Southern Ossetia are clearly colored as contended territories.[tweet https://twitter.com/natomission_ru/status/505052838184370176 width=’300′]

Funny isn’t it? Still, very useless and unnecessarily exhibitionist.

According to the United Nations the victims of the Ukrainian war are more than 2000 and the situation is far from getting better. Do we really need a childish querelle on Twitter?

Written by: Marco Principia

Diplomacy in the age of social media
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Marco Principia

Born in Rome, his beloved city. Graduated with honors in Political Science and International Relations at Università degli Studi "Roma Tre". Expert of current affairs and United Nations. Recently attended a course in Humanitarian Emergency at INTERSOS. Currently employed at CIES - ONLUS in the Coordination and Organization Office for Interpreting and Translation Service for Territorial Commissions for the Recognition of International Protection. Huge fan of A.S. Roma.
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