Alfredo Alfonso Torrealba
Venezuelan Embassy in Bucharest, Romania,
HEAD OF MISSION
This paper examines the role of YouTube Diplomacy between the diplomatic relations of governments and their capacity as a world public information channel. The YouTube Diplomacy represents a particular combination of: the communicational interests of governments to try to extend and distribute the information related to their foreign policy to large audiences in social media; international political, cultural, military, economic and financial interests; and the available audiovisual resources and infrastructures. However, this method has had a history full of successes, failures and controversy over the years. For example, the government of the United States of America (USA) has tried in several ways to take advantage of the development of online video technology to boost its image and leading role in the international arena. But the results have not been very satisfactory. While the US has found an additional, didactic and massive mechanism for transmitting information, it has struggled to find an effective variant to achieve its purposes. In parallel, some experiences analyzed suggest that the participative business model established by youtube.com has allowed the appearance of users who freely and independently, or supported by governments or criminal or terrorist groups, share videos related to the world politics on youtube.com, but are at the same time loaded with subliminal, provocative, intentionally adequate and impartial materials that incite hatred, xenophobia, intolerance, radicalism, racism, violence and terrorism; only with the aim of destabilizing governments, making money and increasing popularity. In this scenario, Youtube Diplomacy is a complex issue that can potentially be a nest of new threats to world peace and freedom of expression. Through the selection and analysis of some historical cases; and the organization, comparison, and systematization of various current sources of journalistic information, this article describes the main features of this complex political scenario with the aim of creating benchmarks that stimulate new research on the relationship between technology and diplomacy.
Youtube Diplomacy, Youtubers,
Influencer, Political Influencer, Super-Youtuber,
Photo: Russian President Vladimir Putin stands with Alfredo Alfonso Torrealba, radio host at interstate radio broadcasting company La Radio del Sur after awarding him the Order of Friendship during a ceremony at the Kremlin November 4, 2015 in Moscow, Russia.