U.S. Ambassador to Libya Deborah Jones (@SafiraDeborah) Exits Twitter, Leaves Behind 49.8K Followers

Posted: 12:01 pm PDT
Updated: 5:24 pm PDT
[twitter-follow screen_name=’Diplopundit’ ]


Screen Shot 2015-03-23Our ambassador to Libya Deborah Jones who is currently based in Malta tweeted about eight civilians who were killed in an air strike near Tripoli.



Apparently, that tweet caused a firestorm in Libya as those killed were reportedly not killed in an air strike but attacked in their homes.




Sometime later, Ambassador Jones tweeted this:


Screen Capture, @SafiraDeborah's tweets

Screen Capture, @SafiraDeborah’s tweets click image for larger view


Then this happened:





And that’s that.


3 responses

  1. Great points, Susan and Aaron – and thank you for this article. I am a relatively new follower here and this is the first time I comment, but this is something I have been reflecting lately. Can not agree more – that the core of diplomacy tasks (those that are sensitive) as it was in the past and should be – is better executed behind the scenes. I have been following several personal and organization level twitter accounts in the field – and I must say that only few have found the balance and understood that what is important is the message not the messenger. Thank you for (I hope) opening discussion about this. Greetings from Brussels from a former diplomat

  2. I think there is good potential for using Twitter for diplomacy, but it is definitely a difficult environment to operate in. At the least, it is a great listening post to keep track of news. At best, it is a chance to engage with a very broad audience. But to engage involves give and take, and that can be difficult to do. Official messaging should be done by official accounts, and it usually is.

  3. Hmm – has there ever been a thoughtful discussion of the pros and cons of Twitter for diplomats. Should diplomats use social media exclusively for US policy on behalf of the Embassy or Mission without putting out their personal photo, name, etc? Is the way we are using social media as diplomats too focused on or reflective of the person rather than the office? What about the old idea that some of the best diplomatic work is done behind the scenes and quietly? What sorts of things are good for Twitter and what not? Who is paying attention to these sorts of questions and thinking about them? Analyzing the impact of all the Tweeting? I want to keep an open mind but am not convinced the medium is being well used for diplomacy. Yet.