Top 10 digital diplomacy moments on Twitter in 2016

From Bana Al-Abed in Syria to Filippo Grandi of the United Nations, Indi’s Sushma Swaraj, and more.

Andreas Sandre
Dec 15, 2016 · 2 min read

Here are my picks, in no particular order. What are yours?

1. As the situation in Aleppo is worsening, a 7-year-old girl named Bana Al-Abed has given a voice to many civilians trapped in the city’s rebel-held east. Bana’s Twitter profile *— managed by her English-teacher mother — has been broadcasting scenes of daily life under the siege to over 300,000 followers.

* Bana’s account authenticity is in question, although it is a verified Twitter account.

2. Ambassador Samantha Power, US Permanent Representative to the United Nations, announced on Twitter that the UN Security Council had reached an agreement on the next Secretary-General, António Guterres of Portugal.

3. David Cameron sends his last tweet as British Prime Minister after his resignations in the aftermath of the Brexit vote that rattled Europe.

4.In a tweet, US President-elect Donald Trump suggests Nigel Farage for the post of British Ambassador to the US.

5. Filippo Grandi, at the helm of the UN Refugee Agency since January 2016, debuts on Twitter.

6.Digital diplomacy is also about providing services, and Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj, one of Foreign Policy’s 2016 Global Thinkers “for fashioning a novel brand of Twitter diplomacy,” knows it well.

7. Dr Shaida Abdali, Afghanistan Ambassador to India, gives an update on Sharbat Gula , known to the world as the Afghan Girl for the 1985 cover of the National Geographic . Gula was recently arrested in Pakistan for allegedly forged identity paper, and sentenced to deportation.

8. Ambassador Euripides Evriviades, Cyprus High Commissioner in London, asks his followers about the role of social media in the so-called Turkish coup this past summer.

9. The Global Coalition, formed in September 2014 to degrade and ultimately defeat ISIS and now composed by 68 partners (governments and international institutions, debuts on Twitter.

10. Ambassador Tom Fletcher, former British Ambassador to Lebanon, welcomes the arrival of the first copy of his book Naked Diplomacy, on foreign policy and the diplomatic craft in the digital age.

Got additional 2016 Twitter moments?

For my top picks in digital diplomacy in 2016, check out my post here:

Digital Diplomacy

Tech, digital, and innovation, at the intersection with policy, government, and social good.

Sign up for We Are Digital Diplomacy

By Digital Diplomacy

Focus on technology, government, foreign policy and anything in between. Take a look.

By signing up, you will create a Medium account if you don’t already have one. Review our Privacy Policy for more information about our privacy practices.

Check your inbox
Medium sent you an email at to complete your subscription.

Digital Diplomacy

Tech, digital, and innovation, at the intersection with policy, government, and social good.

Andreas Sandre

Written by

Comms + policy. Author of #digitaldiplomacy (2015), Twitter for Diplomats (2013). My views only.

Digital Diplomacy

Tech, digital, and innovation, at the intersection with policy, government, and social good.

Medium is an open platform where 170 million readers come to find insightful and dynamic thinking. Here, expert and undiscovered voices alike dive into the heart of any topic and bring new ideas to the surface. Learn more

Follow the writers, publications, and topics that matter to you, and you’ll see them on your homepage and in your inbox. Explore

If you have a story to tell, knowledge to share, or a perspective to offer — welcome home. It’s easy and free to post your thinking on any topic. Write on Medium

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store