Day 50 – Q 5.What is ‘twitter diplomacy’? How is it changing the conventional wisdom? Discuss.
5. What is ‘twitter diplomacy’? How is it changing the conventional wisdom? Discuss.
‘ट्विटर डिप्लोमेसी’ क्या है? यह पारंपरिक ज्ञान को कैसे बदल रहा है? चर्चा करें।
Twitter diplomacy, also “Twiplomacy” or “hashtag diplomacy”, is the use of social network and microblogging website, Twitter, by heads of state, leaders of intergovernmental organizations (IGOs), and their diplomats to conduct diplomatic outreach and public diplomacy.
Twitter has taken on diverse and occasional roles in diplomatic communications, from cordial announcements of bi-lateral cooperation to terse exchanges and diplomatic jabs, as well as more casual posts.
More than 90% of the 193 nations registered at the United Nations had established government Twitter accounts. Among the world leaders, Barack Obama has the highest number of twitter followers, followed by Donald Trump. Our Prime Minister Narendra Modi is third in the List.
Few Examples of Twiplomacy include by our Late Ex- MEA Smt. Sushma Swaraj, also called as Supermom of the state, used her twitter handle on countless occasions to evacuate Indians trapped in dangerous conditions abroad, rescue Indian hostages, provide emergency consular services, coordinate humanitarian aid following natural disasters, issue passports etc. She is worlds most followed female leader on Twitter.
- The Communications earlier used to be only between the leaders of engaging nations, but now through Twiplomacy, leaders are reaching out to citizens of other nations too. Ex- Benjamin Netanyahu wishing Indians on Diwali.
- Earlier, Rivalries between nations were not displayed publically. But today leaders are not hesitant to share such thoughts through twitter. Ex- Trumps tweets on Iran, 2014 #UnitedforUkraine tweets from USA & Russia.
- Leaders are earning goodwill through twitter diplomacy. Ex- Quick response from Indian Railways to troubled travellers, has earned praises for Minister and the Organization. Similarly Late Sushma Swaraj earned massive respect from all across the globe.
- It is also being used to peddle fake news and run false propaganda. Ex- Recent Pakistan’s official armed forces spokesperson tweets about human rights violation in Kashmir.
- It has also been used by countries to ease tensions. Ex- Iran and US engagement via the microblogging platform in the lead up to the historic Iran and P5+1 nuclear deal in 2015, which saw sanctions against Iran lifted in exchange for a drawing down of its nuclear program.
- Countries are expressing their support to other nation’s decisions/views. Ex-France supporting India’s Kashmir policy as internal affairs.
- Countries are coming together for common global causes. Ex- #plasticpollution by countries to spread awareness.
- Diplomats are showing respect to other nation’s culture and values. Ex-Israel Diplomats twitter posts highlighting their Holi celebrations.
Ultimately, Twiplomacy will continue to unfold through time-honoured practices of engagement between states. However, dismissing the role of social media as an engagement tool, particularly Twitter, means potential openings for transformative change might well pass before they can be acted upon.