Estonia

The Estonian political leadership, always on the cusp of electronic innovation has been slow at using social media for their external communication. The Estonian president joined Twitter in mid-May 2012 and became an instant hit for his frank tweets and outspokenness. The new prime minister of the “tech and social media generation”, in office since March 2014, has also enlivened the Twitter traffic of Estonia’s top politicians, sharing news of his official work as well as personal thoughts and impressions.

President of Estonia toomas hendrik ilves

“Help! I'm being followed ;-)” are the first words of Toomas Hendrik Ilves on Twitter. The Estonian President became an instant sensation for his frank and undiplomatic tweets in 2012. Ilves, who tweets himself, bluntly criticized New York Times blogger and Nobel Prize economist Paul Krugman as "smug, overbearing & patronizing", in response to a blog post questioning Estonia's economic recovery. “Let's sh*t on East Europeans: their English is bad, won't respond,” he tweeted. "Guess a Nobel in trade means you can pontificate on fiscal matters & declare my country a "wasteland". That famous twispute (Twitter dispute) found its way into a short opera “Nostra Culpa” performed at the Tallinn Music Week festival in April 2013. Since late 2013 his Twitter activity intensified, with the release of Mikhail Khodorkovsky and the developments in Ukraine. The outspoken president has clashed on several occasions with the Russian foreign ministry and Russian diplomats. Not surprisingly the account Toomas Ilves has attracted a fair share of trolls who often tweet abuse and insults which he even shared with his baffled followers. Despite the abuse @IlvesToomas keeps tweeting about cybersecurity, statistics and data about Estonia and is one of the most interesting Twitter accounts to follow.

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toomas hendrik ilves

@IlvesToomas

vaata kodukalt/look at my homepage

Tweet analytics (as of June 2014)

Tweets:8,399
Following:688
Followers:27,420
Joined Twitter: 05/14/2012
Language: English/Estonian/Latvian
Status: Active
Tweets/day: 31.4
Retweets: 64%
Mentions/Tweet: 0.28
Replies/Tweet: 0.08
Tweets retweeted: 31%
Most mentioned @FT (42), @NeinQuarterly (38), @RFERL (24), @MoscowTimes (24), @washingtonpost (22), @billkeits (17), @tnr (15), @thedailybeast (15), @Judy_Dempsey (14), @edwardlucas (12).

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Prime Minister of Estonia Taavi Rõivas

Estonian Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas who took office on 26 March 2014 has been tweeting and engaging with other Twitter users since 2011, when he was still a member of parliament. As the youngest prime minister in Europe and a true member of the “tech and social media generation”, he has been tweeting official news as well as sharing his personal life throughout the past years, while he was minister for social affairs. Since taking the post of prime minister he continues to tweet personally on average twice a day in English and in Estonian often sharing pictures from official events, such as meetings with foreign counterparts. @TaaviRoivas also shares his personal pictures, including snapshots of his daughter on his Instagram account.

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Taavi Rõivas

@TaaviRoivas

Peaminister, liberaal, spordifänn

Tweet analytics (as of June 2014)

Tweets:2,126
Following:367
Followers:2,903
Joined Twitter: 11/26/2011
Language: Estonian/English
Status: Active
Tweets/day: 2.19
Retweets: 34%
Mentions/Tweet: 0.25
Replies/Tweet: 0.18
Tweets retweeted: 14%
Most mentioned @ArtoAas (36), @andreaskaju (27), @anvarsamost (21), @andrestropp (20), @graafik (18), @tankler (17), @priitluts (17), @archiei (13), @RaimoPoom (12), @KallePalling (12).

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First tweet

Translation: Ireland's interim financial report shows conclusively that, if there is enough desire, you can also get a large hole. Others might want more, too.

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Translation: The government approved an increase in child benefits: 1st and 2nd child €19 instead of €45 today; 3 children from €100 basis in addition to the need for an additional €45

Government of Estonia Valitsuse uudised

The Estonian government maintains two Twitter accounts in in Estonian (@StenbockiMaja) and in English (@EstonianGovt) to broadcast news about the government’s work. Both accounts were set up in May 2009 but have a combined audience of only 3,900 followers. Over the past four years the Estonian account has tweeted 925 times and received a total of only 360 retweets. The stream mostly consists of official news about the activities of former Prime Minister Andrus Ansip and his successor Taavi Rõivas.

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Valitsuse uudised

@StenbockiMaja

Vabariigi Valitsuse uudised. For tweets in English, visit @EstonianGovt

Tweet analytics (as of June 2014)

Tweets:938
Following:27
Followers:2,290
Joined Twitter: 05/19/2009
Language: Estonian
Status: Active
Tweets/day: 0.5
Retweets: 3%
Mentions/Tweet: 0.01
Replies/Tweet: 0
Tweets retweeted: 20%
Most mentioned @TaaviRoivas (7), @parasiil (1), @Brivibas36 (1), @Straujuma (1), @DLidington (1).

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Translation: The government has decided to further improve the fiscal position by 3.4 billion kroons http://tinyurl.com/o58q54

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Translation: 65 years ago today, thousands of candles were lit in memory of the deported in Estonia and also abroad pic.twitter.com/1slQJC3t9

Foreign Minister of Estonia Urmas Paet

Estonia’s Foreign Minister created his Twitter the account @UrmasPaet on the eve of Estonian 95th Independence Day in February 2013, to announce his meeting with Secretary of State John Kerry in Rome. This was followed by silence on air until September 2013, when the account revived prior to the municipal elections. Since fall 2013 the tweets mostly chronicle his official activities, but also include personal observations. The activity has been intermittent, but has intensified at times, most notably during the Ukrainian crisis in spring 2014 with the security situation intensifying and ahead of the European elections.

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Urmas Paet

@Urmaspaet

Estonian Minister of Foreign Affairs / Eesti välisminister

Tweet analytics (as of June 2014)

Tweets:405
Following:282
Followers:1,521
Joined Twitter: 02/19/2013
Language: Estonian/English
Status: Active
Tweets/day: 0.72
Retweets: 40%
Mentions/Tweet: 0.06
Replies/Tweet: 0.05
Tweets retweeted: 31%
Most mentioned @lobjakas (1), @uwekersna (1), @YloLaanoja (1), @LiinaLindpere (1), @laurikre (1), @taunotoompuu (1), @anvarsamost (1), @IlvesToomas (1), @RaimoPoom (1), @OttiEylandt (1).

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Translation: Next week, the new Foreign Minister will meet with US Secretary of State Kerry in Rome, where he has his first visit to Europe.

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Foreign Ministry of Estonia Estonian MFA

The official account of the Estonian foreign ministry was set up in May 2009. The account tweets about the activities of Foreign Minister Urmas Paet as well as ministry related news, such as new consulates, travel warnings etc. The Twitter activity intensified in spring 2014, mainly retweets of the Freedom Online Coalition #FOC14 conference as well as news related to the situation in Ukraine and NATO’s response in the eastern member states. The @valismin account is mutually connected with 17 other foreign ministers and ministries.

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Estonian MFA

@valismin

Official Twitter of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Estonia: news, activity, engagement, #publicdiplomacy #foreignrelations

Tweet analytics (as of June 2014)

Tweets:1,293
Following:146
Followers:3,006
Joined Twitter: 03/16/2009
Language: Estonian
Status: Active
Tweets/day: 0.65
Retweets: 32%
Mentions/Tweet: 0.32
Replies/Tweet: 0.02
Tweets retweeted: 25%
Most mentioned @Urmaspaet (48), @IlvesToomas (32), @MargvelashviliG (11), @UNESCO (10), @HonJohnBaird (9), @UN (8), @valismin (8), @guyberger (7), @StateDept (7), @NATO (6).

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First tweet

Translation: Paet tomorrow in Budapest, Hungary. Will meet Peter Balazs, and opens a new embassy

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