The US State Department is turning to the world of social media to communicate with political groups and grassroots organizations around the world.
Following the recent high-profile examples of social media helping to spark social revolution in places like Egypt and Tunisia, officials in the State Department are similarly employing Twitter to reach freedom-fighters elsewhere in the Middle East.
According to USA Today, the US State Department has begin using Twitter to support opposition groups in Iran, where thousands clashed with local Iranian authorities on Monday. The events marked the largest gathering of anti-government protesters in more than a year.
Communicating with Iranians, however, hasn’t been an uncomplicated effort. The US State Department had to begin tweeting messages in Farsi on two Twitter accounts: @USAdarFarsi and @USAbilAraby.
“We want to join in your conversations,” one tweet read, adding that the “U.S. calls on Iran to allow people to enjoy same universal rights to peacefully assemble, demonstrate as in Cairo.”
Earlier this month, the State Department launched its first ever Twitter feed in Arabic.
“There is a real, vibrant and compelling conversation going on now around the globe. It is a conversation increasingly taking place on the Internet, and America wants to be a part of it,” says Judith McHale, undersecretary of State for public diplomacy and public affairs.
“We are keen to reach out to people where they spend their time online to listen, to present U.S. views and values, and to engage as we work to advance a better and more prosperous future,” McHale told USA Today.
To read the USA Today report on the US Government’s growing use of social media in global relations, click here.