Shared publicly  - 
 
U.S. State Department to take questions from Twitter at the podium

As part of what it calls "21st Century Statecraft Month," State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland, will be taking questions from Twitter from up at the podium during the Daily Press Briefing each Friday afternoon during the month of January. Questions can be submitted using the #AskState hashtag.

The questions will be selected from the Department’s 10 official Twitter feeds, which now include tweets in Arabic, Chinese, English, Farsi, French, Hindi, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Urdu. Full list here:
http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2012/01/180098.htm

While this is an interesting experiment, it's important to note that the State Department will still be choosing which questions to answer. In a press briefing, Nuland can choose the questioner but not the question. If Nuland would commit to taking the 3 most retweeted questions, that would be one thing. Here, they can be selective. For instance, if asked about the Wikileaks saga, sales of American surveillance gear to foreign governments or past State Department involvement in South America, will they take the questions?

There's also the quiet reality that @PJCrowley, the former state department spokesman, was (and is) quite active on Twitter during his tenure. As far as I know, Nuland doesn't have an account, which effectively means they're doing less of that particular brand of 21st century digital diplomacy, not more. +Jared Cohen, who has moved on to Google, is similarly no longer a voice for 'digital diplomacy' on Twitter, leaving the mantle of being State's primary "face" on social media on the shoulders of @AlecJRoss, although, to be fair, dozens of other staffers, embassies and officials are on Twitter now as well, from @USMariaOtero to @AmbassadorRice.

Whether this is a public relations exercise or another step towards the next generation of digital public diplomacy will depend upon whether State is willing to directly take on its fiercest critics, a constituency that will likely be active on the #askstate hashtag.

I'll pose a question about the State Department's official stance on SOPA, since its passage would seem very likely to directly impact its Internet freedom policy and funding for circumvention technologies.

#netfreedom #gov20 #Opengov
When the State Department launched new Twitter accounts in a number of languages, it provided an opportunity for digital diplomats to engage in a global conversation at the edges of the network.
4
4
Shane Dillon's profile photoJillian C. York's profile photoDaniel Abadie's profile photoJunior Frazão's profile photo
Add a comment...