Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Washington Post: State Department social media efforts are floundering.


From: Brian Fung, "World leaders are on Twitter, but they’re not using it," The Washington Post:

If digital diplomacy were really taking off, we might expect it to help maintain relationships among world governments, or at least serve as a cheap way to engage in posturing amid international negotiations. Instead, the State Department’s social media efforts are floundering.

When Hillary Rodham Clinton stepped down as secretary of state in February, a lot of people wondered about the future of the geeky program she helped put together to make social media a new cornerstone of American diplomacy. Under Clinton, the State Department launched countless Twitter profiles and embassy Facebook pages, the better to engage with foreign publics.


But the effort hasn’t all gone well. According to an inspector general’s report, the State Department spent more than $600,000 to increase Facebook “likes,” buying the kind of achievements that public diplomacy is supposed to create organically.

The new secretary of state, John F. Kerry, hasn’t done anything to diminish digital diplomacy in the wake of Clinton’s departure, as a lot of people feared might happen. But that’s largely because Clinton set the bar so low.

How to solve the problem? Bring in Emily Dickinson; image from

2 comments:

Paul Rockower said...

Monsieur Fung completely missed out on how all this digidiplo works. It is like confusing diplomacy for PD. I would tell him that but WaPo makes me sign-in and i don't feel like signing up.

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