Nikki Haley's Twitter account raises protocol concerns

The juxtaposition of silly and serious has produced eye-rolling among U.N. diplomats. But analysts and former U.S. officials say Haley’s Twitter account — which she has used for nearly a decade — is indicative of another problem: Some U.S. diplomats are flouting State Department rules barring the use of personal social media accounts to make official statements.

Those rules were devised in part so that the State Department, and not any individual, reaps the long-term benefits of an enhanced social media following. That may seem quaint given that all U.S. diplomats report to a president who still uses his personal Twitter account.

But Donald Trump isn’t covered by the State Department rules. And social media is an important tool in public diplomacy, in which sites like Twitter and Facebook are part of a growing diplomatic virtual infrastructure that communicates U.S. views abroad.