In politics, words matter. [...] But with a growing number of national governments using Twitter to communicate, a head of state can signal a major policy shift in a mere 140 characters. President-elect Donald Trump's use of Twitter has been a case study in how a short message by an influential figure can potentially change the global landscape.
Building the systems and structures to manage that, particularly in managing a potentially messy and dangerous confrontation in the Baltic states or South China Sea, is going to be a challenge. Other more subtle forms of communication -- unacknowledged direct telephone calls, messages delivered through spies, envoys and allies -- have also not gone away. But they will now be taking place at the same time as what could be frantic social media changes.
External Affairs Ministry has emerged as one of the top central ministries to effectively use the social media with its Twitter handle @MEAIndia crossing one million followers. "Marking a #digitaldiplomacy milestone with 1,000,000+ followers! Hope to continue to serve & inform in the best traditions of the MEA," External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup, who runs the handle, tweeted.
Online activism is a frequently debated topic amongst journalists and researchers alike. What effect can a popular Twitter hashtag really have in achieving political or social change? Wasim Ahmed looks in depth at last year’s heavily tweeted #ThisIsACoup hashtag.