Atad, E., Lev-On, A., & Yavetz, G. (Accepted for Publication). Diplomacy under fire: Governmental vs. non-governmental organizations on social media. Government Information Quarterly.

The widespread adoption of social networking sites has made these platforms useful for governmental and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) to disseminate diplomatic messages and engage with their audience. However, it is unclear whether “top-down” or “bottom-up” approaches to diplomacy are more conducive for generating user engagement during armed conflicts. This study compares the reception of diplomatic messages from leading governmental and non-governmental organizations during the operation “Guardian of the Walls” (May 2021) in Israel/Palestine in terms of user engagement on social media. We found that diplomatic messages from governmental organizations generated significantly more user engagement than diplomatic messages from NGOs, even when normalized for the number of followers. Additional variables, such as the media format (photo/video vs. link/status), the language of the message (informal vs. formal), and the tone of the message (positive vs. not positive), also predicted (to a lesser extent, through direct or interaction effects) user engagement with diplomatic content.


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