Without going into the backdrop of Operation Pillar of Defense "who started what" wormhole for now, and as a preambule to a much more in-depth study of the Israeli's Defense Force online narrative of their latest exploit (which is still evolving) I am going to join my voice to the growing choir of critics of the Israeli Defense Force's use of social media.
"That's the effect of living backwards," the Queen said kindly: "it always makes one a little giddy at first."
Listening to the fascinating Editorial Intelligence Digital Diplomacy panel discussion hosted by Her Excellency Nicola Clase, Swedish Ambassador to the UK, I realise that in the domain of digital diplomacy practitioners might be missing a very important point. "Foreign ministries are getting the hang of social media" proclaimed the Economist and it is true that some professionals are exploring which social media platformsoptimize the info push and engage audiences, enhance the brand or message. Yet others explore the "Force" that is social media abroad. Yes, digital diplomacy can make us giddy with expectations. However, very few digital diplomats actually assess the transformative power their digital diplomatic mission could have on society back home.
How People Power Achieved What The Libyan Government Could Not
(and nobody lead with THAT story)
Unresolved Foreign Policy issues, twitter memes and the moderate majority.
“One thing we do know about the internet is that it ultimately amplifies the voices at the extremes.”
- Alec J Ross - Senior Advisor for Innovation to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton -
Something about Alec J Ross’s statement irks me. After all, Jeff Jarvis did say: “Technology is agnostic”, so why wouldn’t the Internet also amplify moderate voices? If the so-called silent majority were to be prompted to focus on one important issue and their opinions be echoed online, wouldn’t the sheer volume of those voices push back radicals to the fringes, thus moderating the narrative? Why would the resulting dialogue be sectarian? Wouldn’t it rather pull people together, comforted by the fact that their opinions can be publicly shared and rationally debated? Extrapolating on the stance of the U.S State Department Official, Social Media is for Al Qaeda and über-agnostics?
Internet doesn’t amplify the voices at the extremes. Neither does social media.
Extrapolating on my previous publication: "E-Diplomacy and Beyond" to focus on who is driving the Syrian Revolution.
The power of networks, the people and the internet - and how they were applied during the Arab Uprisings and how states can influence other states using the social Web.
First published on the french Think Tank IFRI's blog Politique Etrangère.
My piece on how the military definition of "engage" and our civilian use diverges. First published on the we-nato.org platform.
Reading People Power 2.0 (Technology Review) by the excellent John Pollock and his portrayal of my contribution in overthrowing a tyrant by helping win the Libyan information war, led me to reflect on what the friggins happened to me.
I had no ties with Libya, and although I did hear of Human Rights abuses, I basically thought it was an oil pumping stretch of sand with a tent-pitching leader.
Why I participated in the #feb17 revolution baffled me at first. I’m really not the world best activist.
It became crystal clear later in the game.
I’ve put my finger on it, checked the pulse and it is very much a big thing…
It's the next chapter we are writing, right now, on the productive use of the web.
It sounds either whimsical or way too pompous, but believe me:
It isn’t virtual at all. It has real world impact and it’s actually super easy to jump in: