Published daily by the Lowy Institute

Digital Diplomacy links: India’s powerhouse FM, Obama’s Twitter power, Israeli soldiers, Pokemon at Davos & more

Our regular update from the world of digital diplomacy.

Digital Diplomacy links: India’s powerhouse FM, Obama’s Twitter power, Israeli soldiers, Pokemon at Davos & more
Published 27 Jan 2017   Follow @DaniellesCave

  • The Russian Embassy in London has emerged as a powerful force in President Putin’s information war with the West.
  • The Finnish Government has successfully lobbied Silicon Valley to add some of its national symbol emojis to smartphone keyboards around the world. Designed by a marketing agency and the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the unique emoji collection was also an award-winner at the Nation Place awards in London, beating out Philadelphia and Israel for best use of social media.
  • Germany’s Foreign Minister doesn't’t see President Trump’s Twitter style staying the distance. South Korea, on the other hand, has created a new Foreign Ministry position to monitor President Trumps tweets for foreign policy insights.
  • The US Government is on digital lockdown and National Parks is in revolt. The Sunlight Foundation is keeping a list of the government departments now prohibited from communicating with the public.
  • Meanwhile Barack Obama is back to his original Twitter handle @BarackObama. The former president has 83 million followers, almost four times the followers of his tweet-happy successor. He is the third most followed person in the world behind Katy Perry (95m) and Justin Bieber (91m).  
  • Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen toured Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters and met with senior management, re-launched her lapsed Twitter account and embraced Facebook panorama videos as part of her visit to the US and Central America last month.
  • Niantic partnered with NGOs at last week’s World Economic Forum in Davos to launch 17 new Pokestops which each represented one of the UN’s 17 Global Goals for Sustainable Development.
  • The Israeli Government used digital diplomacy to vent its frustrations about this month’s Paris Peace Conference, and the French Government took note.
  • More confirmation from researchers that the Chinese Government fabricates social media posts (about 450 million of them) to distract the Chinese population.
  • Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj was named a 2016 global thinker by Foreign Policy magazine ‘for fashioning a novel brand of Twitter diplomacy’. Minister Swaraj has long developed a reputation for her hands-on approach to using Twitter to help solve political and consular crises. While she won’t fix your fridge, she might cancel your visa.
  • Bringing new meaning to the term 'honeypot', Hamas hackers posed as beautiful Israeli women on social media to compromise the phones of dozens of Israeli Defence Force (IDF) soldiers and penetrate some of the 3000 IDF-related Facebook groups.
  • Living, working, studying or doing business in China? In a first for China, the government wants to hear your views and include them in China’s policy making. Submit them here.

Photo by Flickr user Michael Foley.

You may also be interested in