The State Department commits (another) social media blunder

A tweet from the U.S. Embassy in Cairo provoked a heated rebuke from the Egyptian president. State Department officials chalked up the gaffe to mismanagement.

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For the second time in six months, the U.S. Embassy in Cairo created diplomatic waves with its Twitter account, and at least one PR professional thinks it’s time for the State Department to review its social media policy.

The most recent incident occurred on Tuesday when Embassy Cairo, as it’s called in diplomatic circles, tweeted a link to a “Daily Show” segment about an Egyptian TV personality—billed as that nation’s Jon Stewart—who had been arrested for criticizing President Mohamed Morsi.

The tweet drew a harsh rebuke from the Twitter account of the Muslim Brotherhood as well as from Morsi’s official Twitter account:

.@usembassycairo @thedailyshow @drbassemyoussef It’s inappropriate for a diplomatic mission to engage in such negative political propaganda

— Egyptian Presidency (@EgyPresidency) April 2, 2013

As a result of the criticism, the embassy in Cairo shut down the Twitter account briefly. That sparked a response from some who saw the move as appeasement.

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