- Exposé about Bernie staffer’s Twitter leads to his firing—and an online class war 6 Years Ago
- Netflix adds Top 10 feature to showcase what’s popular 6 Years Ago
- YouTube permanently bans ‘news’ channel that said impeachment was ‘Jew coup’ 6 Years Ago
- FIFA pro banned from all EA games following threatening rant 6 Years Ago
- Lucasfilm announces new franchise of ‘Star Wars’ tie-in books and comics Today 9:33 AM
- YouTube yanks revenue from controversial star who faked his girlfriend’s death Today 9:26 AM
- Facebook can ignore misleading political ads. This Democrat wants to change that Today 9:08 AM
- How to watch tonight’s South Carolina 2020 Democratic presidential debate Today 8:41 AM
- What exactly is ‘too adult’ for Disney+? Today 7:02 AM
- How tall is Michael Bloomberg? Today 6:30 AM
- The ’24 hours to respond’ meme holds celebrities to a higher standard Monday 8:46 PM
- Twitter users miss the kids who walked in on their dad’s interview Monday 8:40 PM
- ‘The Thing About Men’ Twitter hashtag is full of sarcasm and misogyny Monday 7:27 PM
- This woman said Hillary Clinton losing the 2016 election gave her PTSD, and people are furious Monday 6:45 PM
- Vanessa Bryant files a lawsuit against helicopter company after deaths of Kobe and Gianna Monday 5:49 PM
Why is the U.S. ambassador to Russia on LiveJournal?
Michael McFaul has gone native.
So why does the United States’s ambassador to Russia, Michael McFaul, have a LiveJournal blog? The thing is, while Livejournal might be close to dead in the rest of the world, it still rules in Russia, with an estimated 5.7 million ??????? users.
In 2012, when the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs took to Twitter to express outrage at comments made by McFaul, he responded with a lengthy blog post on LiveJournal–to the surprise of no one.
Carl Bildt, the Swedish foreign minister, responded on Twitter: “I see that Russia MFA has launched a twitter-war against US Ambassador @McFaul. That’s the new world—followers instead of nukes. Better.”
LiveJournal is just an extension of McFaul’s social media presence, however. When McFaul called Russia a “wild country”—a mistake in “bad Russian”, the ambassador later said—he tried to explain himself on Twitter.
This is a mark of a savvy 21st century politician, even if LiveJournal is a 20th century technology. The question shouldn’t be why is McFaul on LiveJournal, it’s why aren’t all our ambassadors following his lead?
Take Gary Locke, the American ambassador to China, who still doesn’t have an account on the Middle Kingdom’s social media platform of choice, Sina Wiebo. After all, Locke is already a Weibo star. He briefly became a kind of folk hero on the social network, after netizens discovered photos of the ambassador humbly carrying his own bag, a stark contrast the imperious behavior of his powerful Chinese counterparts. Now he just needs to carry his own Weibo account.
Illustration by Fernando Alfonso III
Patrick Howell O'Neill is a notable cybersecurity reporter whose work has focused on the dark net, national security, and law enforcement. A former senior writer at the Daily Dot, O'Neill joined CyberScoop in October 2016. I am a cybersecurity journalist at CyberScoop. I cover the security industry, national security and law enforcement.