The most comprehensive bibliography of digital diplomacy to date.
“The net is finished as a global network” wrote John Naughton this weekend, in a major UK Sunday newspaper, which, ironically, is part of the British press which he rages have lost the plot in their reporting of the NSA/PRISM revelations as largely about the whereabouts and options for Edward Snowden. Naughton isn't alone: "Did Obama just destroy the Internet" was typical of many comments in the immediate aftermath of Snowden's early revelations.
My job involves a high amount of communication with both internal and external actors from all spheres, thus consistent and thorough communication is an essential tool for good planning and successful organisation of activities. Although we primarily use a wide range of official communication tools, in the digital era, the input and coverage that can be reached via social media should by no means be neglected. The use of online instruments is gradually becoming an indispensable part of modern diplomacy.
With the Arab Spring still unfolding, our mission was to open a real-time window onto the realm of digital diplomacy, showing dialogues between key actors and ranking their influence. Facebook arguably played a greater role in driving the changes in Tunisia and Egypt, but Twitter was the vector through which news flowed to the rest of the world (and back again), and we wanted to harness that.
During the September 11 riots outside the U.S. embassy in Cairo, a staffer's sarcastic response to a tweet from the Muslim Brotherhood led to an exchange that was widely covered by the mainstream media. The tweets came on the heels of a controversial statement that the embassy published on its website shortly after an Egyptian salafi television show broadcast The Innocence of the Muslims, a crude U.S.-produced YouTube video that portrayed the prophet Mohamed as a womanizer and charlatan.
Washington is a vocal proponent of intellectual property rights in Vietnam as it is around the world, and a site like Zing would be shut down in the United States. But with space with for public diplomacy limited in Communist Vietnam, the American embassy uses its "Zingme" account to reach out to young people in Vietnam as it seeks to build closer ties with its former enemy.