NATO and the emerging power of social media

  • 16 Jun. 2011 -
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  • Last updated: 17 Jun. 2011 15:58

On 16 June, around 150 young people and bloggers examined the power of social media at a conference entitled, “Social Media Platforms – Major Political Players?” held in Berlin, Germany.

The aim of the event was to discuss how social media platforms have gone from mere social networking tools to becoming an important part of our daily lives as well as an integrated part of the global political landscape.

Dr. Stefanie Babst, NATO's Acting Assistant Secretary General for Public Diplomacy highlighted the Organization’s evolving role in the digital world. She was one of several high level officials who spoke at the conference, including the US Ambassador to Germany, H.E. Ambassador Philip D. Murphy.

Seizing the potential

Social media has in recent years become a key outreach tool because of its wide-reaching scale and ability to involve millions of people on a worldwide scale. It allows for all stakeholders to engage in a direct debate on everything from international policy issues to the latest street gossip.

In a speech to the conference, Dr. Babst stressed that the 28-nation Alliance is seizing the potential of social media and "wants to be an active participant" in the global digital community. "We want to connect with people who are interested in discussing security and defence issues," she said. “NATO is already very active on various digital platforms including Facebook, YouTube and Twitter and the NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen is a strong advocate of social media tools. The NATO Allies have always been strongly committed to defending democratic values and voicing ideas and opinions in the cyber space is a universal democratic right."

Participants were asked to engage in the debate by tweeting their comments before, during and after the event. For more information and the tweet feed on #DAGgoes2_0 please click here.

The conference was organised by the Deutsche Atlantische Gesellschaft e.V. (the German Atlantic Association).