2017: A Year of Digital Uncertainty

In many respects, 2017 was a year of digital uncertainty. It was a year in which digital platforms were used to weaponize uncertainty. It was a year in which the societal role of digital platforms became uncertain. It was a year in which the relationship between states and tech gaits became uncertain. And it was…

Do MFAs Really Attract Journalists on Social Media?

Some have traced the origins of digital diplomacy to America’s need to counter Al-Qaeda’s online narrative and recruitment efforts. As Ellen Hallams has written, already in 2008 it was estimated that the internet was responsible of 80% of recruitment of Jihadi movements. In an attempt to stem the tide of recruitment, and counter Al-Qaeda’s narrative…

The Social Media Scare

American poet Allen Ginsburg opens his masterpiece, Howl, with the lines I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked, dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking for an angry fix, angel headed hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection to the starry dynamo in the machinery of…

Digital Diplomacy 3.0: Personalized Diplomacy

From Digital Diplomacy 1.0 to Digital Diplomacy 2.0 When foreign ministries first migrated online, they viewed social media platforms as mass media channels. Much like the radio and television, Twitter and Facebook could be used to disseminate messages among millions of users. The conceptualization of social media as mass media was, in part, the result…

Queen Rania’s Selfie

Introduction The Arab World has always had a strenuous relationship with social media. On the one hand, several countries in the Arab World monitor their citizen’s social media activity, ban social media or shut down social media during times of domestic upheaval. Such was the case when the Mubarak regime attempted to block Facebook at…

The Personalization of Digital Diplomacy

In the early days of digital diplomacy, MFAs and diplomats viewed social media as linear communication tools. Diplomats believed that they could use social media to craft a message and directly disseminate it among online publics. Thus, social media was no different from other mass media such as the radio and television. Yet as the…