Israel’s Foreign Ministry updated online social media guidelines for representatives of the State of Israel worldwide, following a few recent unusual tweets and Facebook posts made by Israeli diplomats. The Foreign Ministry’s message to Israeli diplomats: Surfers on the web take everything you post as Israel’s official position.
Earlier this week, Yoram Murad, head of the Foreign Ministry’s Digitial Diplomacy Department sent a message to Israeli diplomats both in the country and abroad, entitled, “What is the difference between a press briefing and a tweet?” The answer was made clear in first line of the message “As far as you’re concerned, there is no difference,” wrote Murad.
Many Israeli diplomats, primarily ambassadors and embassy spokespeople, use Facebook and Twitter accounts to publicize various policy statements or links to articles concerning Israel or the Middle East. Contrary to the United States’ State Department, where Twitter and Facebook use is already highly institutionalized, the Israeli Foreign Ministry’s use of social media is still in its infancy.
“Although prior to publication, most of you have internalized the fact that there is no difference between a tweet and a press briefing, a few isolated incidences have generated the need for us to clarify guidelines,” wrote Murad in a message to Israeli diplomats.
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