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Digital diplomacy involves more than simply social media, argues Shaun Riordan.

A social media campaign aiming at delivering humanitarian aid to Somalia, a country on the brink of famine, through a Turkish Airlines flight has gone viral with backing from celebrities and people across the world. After being initiated with a tweet by Jerome Jarre, the French social media celebrity, on Wednesday, the Twitter hashtags #TurkishAirlinesHelpSomalia and #LoveArmyForSomalia have taken on a snowballing effect with support from a group of celebrities.

February 22, 2017

Sitting in my bedroom, 200 miles from Aleppo, social media makes it easier than ever to spectate the atrocities of the civil war. But has social media changed the reality of organising a protest on the ground? [...] There are a small number of major competitors for protest organisation platforms. Facebook, of course, has cornered the market. Twitter also plays a role. ​

At other times, forged documents and fabricated news items consistent with Russia's strategic objectives have first appeared in obscure Swedish media outlets, which were picked up subsequently by Sputnik and "other sources of Russian public diplomacy" and broadcast to an international audience.

A new campaign by Amnesty International has given refugees the chance to take to Twitter as they urge for more action to be taken in the on-going migrant crisis. Social media users who tweet about the crisis have been receiving direct video responses from residents of refugee camps in Lebanon and Kenya. The ‘I Welcome’ campaign has allowed refugees to respond to tweets asking social media users to take action and do more than just share their outrage.

President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe hit the links on Saturday, as the two leaders looked to forge a bond over a round of golf diplomacy. [...] After four hours at the club, Trump tweeted a picture of himself and the prime minister on the golf course. "Having a great time hosting Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in the United States," Trump said in the tweet. Shortly after, Trump and Abe left the club to head to a private lunch.

After the internet mocked the picture of US President Donald Trump signing the travel ban executive order, Swedish Deputy PM and Climate Minister has taken a dig at another similar picture. Isabella Lövin posted a picture of her signing an order with a queue of female ministers standing behind her. The image is seen as a parody of the picture of President Trump signing an anti-abortion executive order with a line of male ministers standing behind him.

In November, 2016 Oxford Dictionaries proclaimed “post-truth” the word of the year. The choice was obviously a reflection of two important political campaigns: Brexit and the US Presidential elections. In both campaigns truth became subservient to political gain. The distinction between fact and fiction eroded as fake news spread globally through social media sites. However, Oxford Dictionaries’ choice was, to a certain extent, a publicity stunt in its own right.

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