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International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Sunday, 18.08.2019, 10:08

Lithuanian and Latvian foreign ministers in the 10 Best Connected World Leaders 2018

BC, Riga, 12.07.2018.Print version
All the world’s atwitter! Or almost. 97% of all 193 UN member states have an official presence on the platform. The governments of only six countries, namely Laos, Mauritania, Nicaragua, North Korea, Swaziland and Turkmenistan do not have an official presence on the platform, told in the BCW`s Twiplomacy study.

Even the Chinese government’s State Council Information Office maintains a presence on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, and seven Chinese embassies as well as one Chinese ambassador are now active on Twitter.


 BCW’s Twiplomacy study 2018 identified 951 Twitter accounts – 372 personal and 579 institutional accounts – of heads of state and government and foreign ministers of 187 countries.

Facebook is the second-most popular network among government leaders and it is where they have the biggest audiences. The heads of government and foreign ministers of 179 countries are present on the platform, representing 93 percent of all UN member states. Instagram has become the third-most popular social network for governments and 81 percent of all UN member states have set up an account many of which are sharing daily Instagram stories.

Undeniably, Donald Trump has made the biggest impact on Twitter since taking office on January 20, 2017. @realDonaldTrump is the most followed world leader with more than 52 million followers. He has garnered by far the most interactions over the past 12 months, and his tweets average more than 20,000 retweets. He has posted the most retweeted tweet of any world leader, ‘slamming’ what he describes as “fake news CNN.”

Creating Mutual Connections

In March 2018 the press spokesperson of the Russian Embassy in Washington suggested establishing mutual Twitter relations between the U.S. State Department and the Russian Embassy in Washington to allow for Direct Messaging since “Twitter seems to be more reliable & quicker communication channel (under your gov control) on urgent issues.” However, the @StateDept did not reply to the request and is not following @RusEmbUSA or @MFA_Russia.

For the past three years, the EU External Action Service (@EU_eeas) has been the best-connected foreign office, mutually following 132 foreign ministries and world leaders. The UK @ForeignOffice has moved into second place with 130 mutual connections, overtaking the Russian Foreign Ministry @MFA_Russia with 126 mutual connections. The foreign ministries of Germany, Iceland, Israel, Lithuania, the Netherlands, and Norway all have more than 100 mutual connections. The Latvian Foreign Ministry took the honorable 10th place among the world leaders with 99 mutual connections with ministries and world leaders

The existence of mutual connections on Twitter is a good indicator of the state of the diplomatic relations between two countries or the personal relations between their leaders.

While the Twitter accounts of the @WhiteHouse and @POTUS are the two most popular among their peers, followed by 290 and 250 world leaders respectively, they are giving all other world leaders the cold shoulder. The Trump @WhiteHouse is mutually following the @Cabinet@POTUS and @realDonaldTrump accounts, but the White House is no longer following Russian Prime Minister @MedvedevRussiaE nor the UK’s @Number10govaccounts as the @ObamaWhiteHouse did.

Despite President Trump’s decision to leave the Iran nuclear deal, the U.S. State Department is unilaterally following eight other world leaders, including Iran’s President @HassanRouhani and Foreign Minister @JZarif, in an attempt to establish relations between the United States and Iran on Twitter.

On May 26, 2015, the State Department used Twitter to re-establish ties with its Cuban counterpart and the Cuban Foreign Ministry reciprocated several hours later, two months before the official re-establishment of diplomatic relations.

The State Department enjoys mutual Twitter relations with 54 other leaders, mainly foreign ministries, and it is unilaterally followed by 210 other world leaders, including the Russian Foreign Ministry, but it hasn’t reciprocated Moscow’s overture yet.

Being mutually connected on Twitter is not only a courteous gesture, but also allows these leaders to direct message to each other and to have private conversations on Twitter, a feature which can also be turned on by default. Several foreign offices have used this channel to reach out to peers and other influencers to set the record straight or to coordinate their digital campaigns.

Twitter allows smaller countries to make valuable connections with their peers. The Foreign Ministry of Peru (@CancilleriaPeru) and the Danish Foreign Ministry (@DanishMFA) have made a conscious effort to establish mutual connections on Twitter, unilaterally following 430 and 381 other world leaders, respecitvely. The Swedish Foreign Ministry (@SweMFA) unilaterally follows 253 world leaders in the hopes of tweeting with other world leaders.

Original Twiplomacy Study 2018 read here:



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