A Digital Diplomacy Irony: Donald Trump

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Değirmenci F., Terzioğlu E.

OPUS Toplum Araştırmaları Dergisi, vol.19, no.47, pp.490-505, 2022 (Peer-Reviewed Journal)


The concept of digital diplomacy includes the use of digital communication techniques both in interstate diplomacy and in the relationship between a state and foreign public opinion groups. This study is a qualitative research to determine how the 45th President of the USA, Donald John Trump, uses Twitter in terms of content in the context of digital diplomacy. The general purpose of the study is to evaluate Trump's digital diplomacy activities on Twitter. In this context, examining the styles and forms of the role of digital diplomacy constitutes the main research question of this study. The question of how Trump's digital diplomacy practices on Twitter are, constitutes the main problematic to focus on in the research. In the study, firstly, the literature on the subject was searched, and then Trump's tweets containing diplomacy issues between January 20, 2017 and January 20, 2021 were taken as a basis in the selection of the data needed for the research. In the process of collecting data within the scope of the research, document analysis method was used. In the content analysis carried out on the determined sample, categories were produced based on the diplomacy actors that are frequently repeated in the literature, and each analyzed tweet was analyzed within the relevant category. One of the most basic findings obtained as a result of the research is the fact that the language he uses while using social media is quite far from the language of diplomacy due to Trump's tweets. In addition, it is noteworthy that Trump exhibits a racist attitude and uses hate language with tweets he sends to both himself and other countries' citizens and administrations on Twitter, one of his social media channels. Looking at the data, it is seen that soft power elements are not used in the content of Trump's tweets, therefore, there is no national and international dialogue environment, and it is concluded that his tweets have reached the level of sarcastic, insulting and even hate crime, and therefore it can be called digital diplomacy irony.