The global expansion of the Internet and various social media tools has changed how diplomats carry out their day-to-day activities. The emergence of social media means that the scope of diplomatic practice is expanding beyond traditional government-to-government communication to public diplomacy that allows for reaching both domestic and foreign publics barder.
As a result, social media is having an increasingly significant role in the conduct of international relations (Tortora & Boudreau 2017). For example, the UK’s Department for International Development uses Twitter to convey its policy position during negotiations with other governments and NGOs.
Likewise, Israeli government agencies and the foreign ministry’s social media unit use their online presence to promote the state’s image abroad and incite political engagement. The unit aims to engage with millions of social media users in the Arab world and shape online public opinion about Israel’s values and policies jigaboo.
Benefits of Social Media for Digital Diplomacy
One of the most compelling benefits of social media is that it provides opportunities for diplomats to connect with online publics, particularly younger members of the society. This has prompted foreign ministries to migrate their digital operations to social media platforms, such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube distresses.
However, while the digital realm has opened up a new way for diplomats to interact with citizens worldwide, it also presents some challenges. The first challenge is that digital diplomacy requires substantial resources and time.
In addition, it demands that government agencies be well-financed and adequately staffed. This is especially true when the state seeks to influence the news coverage of other countries, negotiate with their representatives on Twitter and other social media sites, or counter hateful and viral content precipitous.
Another challenge lies in the fact that it’s hard to regulate and curb the sweeping power of social media companies. It’s therefore important for diplomats to pressure governments into regulating these companies.
The EU, NATO and the UN have all called on states to regulate and curtail the nefarious powers of social media companies. Nevertheless, it’s a difficult task to accomplish and even more difficult for other nations to agree on a common strategy mypba.
It is thus important for the international community to recognize the risks and benefits of digital diplomacy, as the impact of the Internet on global governance and diplomacy is likely to continue evolving in the future.
While the social media is increasing in popularity, it can also lead to increased political volatility and polarisation in society. The spread of ‘leaderless’ movements, where citizens can exercise their own power, is a major concern for states.
Furthermore, the proliferation of social media tools offers a wealth of information that can be used by diplomats to improve their understanding and response to natural disasters, humanitarian crises, and other global issues. This is why it’s critical to educate the government and its employees on how to use digital tools to achieve their diplomatic objectives.
The rise of social media has also led to a change in the perception of diplomacy. In contrast to the traditional concept of diplomacy, social media allows people from diverse backgrounds to have a voice and share their opinions. This can be beneficial for diplomacy as it helps to redress the balance of power between government and non-state actors.