According to a new report by the Digital Policy Council, 75 percent of world leaders tweeted in 2012 — up 78 percent from 2011 and 270 percent from 2010, the year the survey started.
Analyses as of December 2012 reveals that 75%, or three out of four heads of state, were utilizing the social media site Twitter. A total of 123 world leaders out of 164 countries had accounts on Twitter set up in their personal name or through an official government office.
In 2010, the idea that governments had the potential to openly engage their citizens and the global community directly was brought front and center, with President Obama’s open government directive. These initiatives work toward building participation and collaboration into the government process. A little over a year later, the Open Government Partnership was formed, as nations made official commitments to improve transparency, openness, and civic engagement.
Today more than 50 nations are involved in that partnership, striving to empower citizens, fight corruption, and harness new technologies to strengthen governance and support the implementation of multilateral commitments. In 2012, Twitter continued to be used by political activists to inform, mobilize, create communities, and seek to hold governments accountable. The momentum of 2011’s pro-democracy uprisings that swept the Middle East and North Africa, known as the Arab Spring, carried through to 2012 as demonstrators passionately acknowledged the role of social media to solidify their efforts.
Twitter provided a platform for people to express their solidarity with others in their region and beyond. As digital activism becomes more intensified, it is often seen as a threat to governments, but an outcome has been the steady increase in the number of heads of state that are using Twitter and recognizing the benefits of the vehicle to allow for direct interaction with constituents. Anyone can send an @ message to a world leader and although they might not personally see the tweet, it will likely go to the attention of their staff. Furthermore, with the aid of Twitter, a government message has the potential to go viral or reach a worldwide audience.
In 2011 only 69 out of 164 countries had embraced Twitter. The new figures represent a 78% increase in the number of heads of state and national governments on Twitter from 2011.
The numbers sound like a big win both for Twitter and for open government, which have gone hand-in-hand since even before the Arab Spring uprisings popularized social media as a form of civic participation in 2010. According to advocates — the DPC among them — Twitter forces politicians to act more accountable and encourages community-building and civic engagement.
Here are the Top-10 Leaders of the World from the research:
1- President Obama
2- President Hugo Chavez – Venezuela
3- President Abdullah Gül – Turkey
4- Queen Rania – The Queen Consorf of The King of Jordan
5- Dmitry Medvedev – Russian President
6- Dilma Rouseff – President of Brazil
7- Cristina Fernandes de Kirchner – Argentina President
8- Juan Manuel Santos – Colombia’s President
9- Enrique Pena Nietoin – President of Mexico
10- Sheikh Mohammed – Prime Minister of UAE & Dubai