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TWITTER

French minister holds on to crown of Twitter king

France's Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius has held on to his crown as the world's most connected foreign minister on Twitter, an annual study on world leaders tweeting habits has revealed. But when it comes to followers, President François Hollande lags well behind his peers.

French minister holds on to crown of Twitter king
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius poses for a selfie with some members of the public. Photo: AFP

The 2015 Twiplomacy study, which revealed that US President Barack Obama was by the far most followed world leader, showed that when it comes to foreign ministries it’s all about mutual conections.

And when it comes to mutual connections Fabius or @LaurentFabius, as he is known in Twitter circles is the king of foreign ministers, due to the fact he is mutually connected to 100 peers.

Here is meeting Australia's foreign minister Julie Bishop last week. 

 

 

Russia’s foreign ministry, which has made a conscious effort to connect with world peers on its English-language account @MFA_Russia, comes in second with connections to another 93 world leaders.  

Fabius’s own foreign ministry’s official Twitter account is third with 90 mutual connections.

The French foreign ministry was able to reach users across multiple languages, with additional accounts in English as well as Spanish and Arabic.

According to the study: “Being mutually connected on Twitter is not only a courteous gesture, but also allows these leaders to direct message each other and to have private conversations on Twitter, a feature which can also be turned on by default.

“A number of foreign offices have used this channel to reach out to peers and other influencers to set the record straight or to coordinate their digital campaigns.

The Twiplomacy study, by public relations firm Burson-Marsteller, analyzed the Twitter use of accounts of 669 heads of state and government, foreign ministers and their institutions in 166 countries worldwide.

“Over the past years Twitter has become the channel of choice for digital diplomacy between world leaders, governments, foreign ministries and diplomats,” the report states. “Social media in general and Twitter in particular is no longer just an afterthought but an essential communication tool for governments to interact and broadcast 140 character messages and six-second soundbites.”

As of March 24th, the most-followed world leaders were US President Barack Obama at 57 million followers, Pope Francis at 20 million followers across his nine different language accounts and India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi at about 11 million.

French President François Hollande pales in comparison as he only as 955,000 followers on his account @fhollande.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan – who once vowed he would “wipe out Twitter”, banning the social media site temporarily in the country – was also among the top five with 6.1 million followers.

The Pope beat Obama for most effective world leader, with an average of 9,929 re-tweets per tweet.

The report showed the Mexican presidency account to be the most prolific, with an average of 68 tweets per day.

“This study illustrates that governments are becoming savvier and more professional in the use of social media,” said Jeremy Galbraith, CEO of Burson-Marsteller Europe, Middle East and Africa, in a statement.

“It is interesting to see how foreign ministries have honed their social strategies and built substantial dedicated teams to manage their online channels. We believe corporations can learn a lot from governments and their leaders on Twitter.”

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DISCRIMINATION

Twitter appeals French court ruling on hate speech transparency

Twitter has appealed a French court decision that ordered it to give activists full access to all of its relevant documents on efforts to fight hate speech, lawyers and a judicial source said on Saturday.

Twitter appeals French court ruling on hate speech transparency
The Twitter logo is seen on a phone. Twitter has appealed a French court judgement requiring it to share documents with activist groups. Photo: Alastair Pike / AFP

In July, a French court ordered Twitter to grant six French anti-discrimination groups full access to all documents relating to the
company’s efforts to combat hate speech since May 2020. The ruling applied to Twitter’s global operation, not just France.

Twitter has appealed the decision and a hearing has been set for December 9, 2021, a judicial source told AFP, confirming information released by the groups’ lawyers.

Twitter and its lawyers declined to comment.

The July order said that Twitter must hand over “all administrative, contractual, technical or commercial documents” detailing the resources it has assigned to fight homophobic, racist and sexist discourse on the site, as well as the offence of “condoning crimes against humanity”.

It also said Twitter must reveal how many moderators it employs in France to examine posts flagged as hateful, and data on the posts they process.

READ ALSO: French court orders Twitter to change smallprint over ‘abusive’ methods

The July ruling gave the San Francisco-based company two months to comply. Twitter can ask for a suspension pending the appeal.

The six anti-discrimination groups had taken Twitter to court in France last year, accusing the US social media giant of “long-term and persistent” failures in blocking hateful comments from the site.

The groups campaign against homophobia, racism and anti-Semitism. Twitter’s hateful conduct policy bans users from promoting violence or threatening or attacking people based on their race, religion, gender identity or disability, among other forms of discrimination.

Like other social media giants it allows users to report posts they believe are hateful, and employs moderators to vet the content.

But anti-discrimination groups have long complained that holes in the policy allow hateful comments to stay online in many cases.

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