From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Digital diplomacy, also referred to as Digiplomacy and eDiplomacy (see below), has been defined as the use of the Internet and new information communication technologies to help achieve diplomatic objectives. However, other definitions have also been proposed. The definition focuses on the interplay between internet and diplomacy, ranging from Internet driven-changes in the environment in which diplomacy is conducted to the emergence of new topics on diplomatic agendas such as cybersecurity, privacy and more, along with the use of internet tools to practice diplomacy.
The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office defines digital diplomacy as 'solving foreign policy problems using the internet', a narrower definition that excludes internal electronic collaboration tools and mobile phone and tablet-based diplomacy. The US State Department uses the term 21st Century Statecraft The Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development calls it Open Policy.
Digital diplomacy can be practiced by state agencies such as Foreign Ministries, embassies and consulates, individual diplomats such as ambassadors or ambassadors-at-large, and non-state actors such as civil society and human rights groups.
The first foreign ministry to establish a dedicated ediplomacy unit was the US State Department, which created the Taskforce on eDiplomacy in 2002. This Taskforce has since been renamed the Office of eDiplomacy and has approximately 80 staff members, about half of which are dedicated to ediplomacy-related work.
Other foreign ministries have also begun to embrace ediplomacy. The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office has an Office of Digital Diplomacy that is involved in a range of ediplomacy activities. Sweden has also been active in promotion of digital diplomacy, especially through the online communication strategy of its foreign minister Carl Bildt who soon became 'best connected Twitter leader'.
In July 2012, global public relations and communications firm Burson-Marsteller studied the use of Twitter by heads of state and government, referred to as Twitter diplomacy. The study on Twiplomacy  found that there were 264 Twitter accounts of heads of state and government and their institutions in 125 countries worldwide and that only 30 leader's tweet personally. Since then, the attention on digital diplomacy as a tool of public diplomacy has only increased. In 2013, USC Center on Public Diplomacy has named 'Facebook recognizing Kosovo as a country', as one of the top moments in public diplomacy for 2013.
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