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Definition - What does Twiplomacy mean?

Twiplomacy refers to the use of Twitter and other social media sites by government agencies and officials to engage with the public, disperse information and even leverage global influence. The term emerged from an August 2012 report from Geneva based public relations firm Burson-Marsteller, which studied world leaders on Twitter and attempted to illustrate how social media is closing the gap between these leaders and the public they serve.

Techopedia explains Twiplomacy

According to Burson-Marsteller, almost two-thirds of the United Nations' 193 member states have a presence on Twitter. Perhaps most famously, in the U.S., the Obama administration received high marks for using social media as a tool to inform, leverage and even apply pressure regarding the Administration's position on important issues. For example, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is well known for encouraging the use of social media tools throughout the foreign service.

Twiplomacy supporters have said that it is another way for governments to inform their constituents and deliver a direct line of access to public servants. Others fear that social media poses a potential threat to classic diplomacy between countries and that Twitter is not sufficiently complex for these types of relationships.

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