Diplomacy under fire: Engagement with governmental versus non-governmental messages on social media during armed conflicts

Erga Atad, Azi Lev-On, Gal Yavetz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

The widespread adoption of social networking sites has made these platforms useful for governmental and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to disseminate diplomatic messages and engage with their audience. However, it is unclear whether “top-down” or “bottom-up” approaches to diplomacy are more conducive for generating user engagement during armed conflicts. This study compares the reception of diplomatic messages from leading governmental and non-governmental organizations during the operation “Guardian of the Walls” (May 2021) in Israel/Palestine in terms of user engagement on social media. We found that diplomatic messages from governmental organizations generated significantly more user engagement than diplomatic messages from NGOs, even when normalized for the number of followers. Additional variables, such as the media format (photo/video vs. link/status), the language of the message (informal vs. formal), and the tone of the message (positive vs. not positive), also predicted (to a lesser extent, through direct or interaction effects) user engagement with diplomatic content.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101835
JournalGovernment Information Quarterly
Volume40
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Elsevier Inc.

Keywords

  • Digital diplomacy
  • Engagement
  • Ngo diplomacy
  • Social media

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