Since 2012, the Italian Embassy has partnered with the Italian diplomatic network in the United States to put on a Digital Diplomacy series as a way to evaluate social media platforms through foreign policy topics. The panel discussion this year was held on February 13th and specifically focused on the intersection between the news and the internet in light of the recent “fake news” phenomenon.
Foreign affairs have inevitably been impacted by the surge of communication offered by social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. The news can now be controlled and filtered by anyone in the world, and this democratization of media has shifted foreign politics from information to entertainment. “Fake news,” then, has superseded traditional filtered news and journalism, a phenomena which has potentially devastating results for the state of foreign affairs.
At this year’s conference, panelists delved into questions of foreign correspondence through online media and addressed the struggles of living in such a highly digitalized world. Ultimately, the panel concluded with a message to governments and citizens alike, stating that each should take care to be vigilant and critical of any news source – particularly those found by means of social media.