Over the past five years, Twitter has become the ultimate channel for digital diplomacy for world leaders and governments. It is the prime social network used by heads of state and government in 173 countries, representing 90 percent of all United Nations (UN) member states, according to Burson-Marsteller's Twiplomacy study, an annual global survey of world leaders on social media.
One of the leaders in the virtual race is Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi [...] As prime minister, Modi also went viral with a selfie he took with China's Li keqiang, a move promptly dubbed as "selfie diplomacy."
States should use the increasing power of social media networks and work with them to achieve foreign policy objectives. [...] However, there is much more room for states to cooperate with social media rather than seeing it as an enemy. Instead, there are ample opportunities to use social media’s features, low costs and high effectiveness as tools to promote a state’s foreign policy objectives.
US authorities and Internet giants are boosting attempts to counter the Islamic State group’s online propaganda, though it is unclear how effective these efforts are in hampering the jihadists’ public-relations machine.
Digital diplomacy is the use of internet and new information communication technologies to help achieve diplomatic objectives. [...] On this side of the globe, India is leading the way on digital diplomacy. Despite a modest budget in public diplomacy, India’s ministry of external affairs’ Facebook page with more than 1.2 million followers has come second only to the US state department among foreign ministries in the world.
The Ministry of External Affairs is the most active wing of the Modi government on Twitter with 130 official Twitter accounts, revealed an RTI response. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Cabinet number 2, Home Minister Rajnath Singh, have two accounts each for information dissemination and ensuring quick response during any crisis.