With the agency of civil society on the rise, diplomacy is operating in unparalleled openness. This begs the question, who gets to be a diplomat? As John Robert Kelley notes in The New Diplomacy: Evolution of a Revolution, diplomacy is no longer an institution, it is now a set of actions. So perhaps it is not a question of who, but rather what actions constitute diplomacy. Furthermore, with everything and everyone communicating something, whether voluntarily or involuntarily, the real question becomes: what isn't public diplomacy? In today's globalized world defined by connections and communications networks, what isn't diplomacy?
I have a difficult time answering this question, but I can reflect on the more specific issue of how new social media in particular is affecting diplomacy. By using the internet we each individually project things that potentially affect our country's image, and in addressing this, I can't help but consider the way certain sites in particular play a role. For me personally, Facebook has become an integral part of my day for socializing and leisure, but also for official correspondence and connections to academic and business resources. Almost every company, agency, business, and even government office has a presence on the site.
Tim Wu's article asks the question “Does facebook have a foreign policy?” While I was expecting the article to discuss how Facebook's user-generated content have framed a new set of actions that affect diplomacy, it actually focuses on Facebook's policies on censorship and privacy settings. Wu notes that on the heels of Yahoo in Europe and Google in China, the way in which Facebook proceeds as it enters foreign markets will define its position on these issues. However the article focuses too much on the whether Facebook will succeed as a business in hostile oversees markets. On the actual topic of foreign policy, I think it would have been much more a propos for the article to discuss how Facebook privacy policies and other standards represent a Western or even American value system and the implications of Facebook, as an American company, gaining popularity worldwide.