Professor William H. Dutton
Senior Fellow, Advisory Board Member
Bill Dutton was the OII’s Founding Director, a Fellow of Balliol College and the first Professor of Internet Studies at Oxford University.
I’ve written/blogged about the inevitable rise of digital diplomacy, and the need to adapt to it. President Donald Trumps’ use of Twitter is testing the patience of the foreign policy community in particular, setting many against the wisdom of his use of Twitter, and the value of digital diplomacy in general.
However, this morning’s New York Times piece about the use of Twitter by the President of Taiwan, President Tsai Ing-wen, is an illustration of its significance, and likely growth. As Taiwan is working against efforts to marginalize the country and even ‘muffle’ news and information about the nation, Twitter is offering the President a means to go global with tweets in English to reach foreign journalists and others within and beyond Taiwan’s borders, including Chinese netizens around the world.
Interestingly, despite the legends of politicians ranting about President Trump using Twitter, most of those complaining – it seems – tweet!
*See Chris Horton (2017), “Muffled by China, Taiwan’s President Employs Twitter as a Megaphone“, New York Times, 7 July: A6.