According to the State Department’s social media guidelines, diplomats and employees such as Haley, “whose positons make it appropriate for them to engage in official communications on behalf of the Department over social media must not use personal social media accounts to do so. They must use official social media accounts, created and owned by the Department.”
Haley, however, doesn’t have an official handle that can also be used by her successor, and doesn’t hesitate to use her personal account, created in 2009, to tweet her plans to speak at a conference, or denounce Russia’s actions in Syria, or advise her followers on music, and even discuss the Grammys or the royal wedding.
Unbelievable that Russia is stalling a vote on a ceasefire allowing humanitarian access in Syria. How many more people will die before the The Security Council agrees to take up this vote? Let’s do this tonight. The Syrian people can’t wait.— Nikki Haley (@nikkihaley) 23 февраля 2018 г.
I have always loved the Grammys but to have artists read the Fire and Fury book killed it. Don’t ruin great music with trash. Some of us love music without the politics thrown in it.— Nikki Haley (@nikkihaley) 29 января 2018 г.
There’s just something about a Royal wedding…❤️— Nikki Haley (@nikkihaley) 19 мая 2018 г.
Michael and I had an amazing weekend. Now leaving this behind to focus on the issues we will be discussing and negotiating this week: Syria, South Sudan, N.Korea, Ukraine, Council on Status of Women, and always something unexpected. #HappySunday #Blessed #NeverADullMoment pic.twitter.com/ltBrrgYPYo— Nikki Haley (@nikkihaley) 11 марта 2018 г.
POLITICO managed to find a host of tweets allegedly contradicting the State Department’s rules, stipulating that diplomats can post official content on a personal account as long as “it is clear… that it is not used to communicate on behalf of the department.” Haley has frequently turned to the power of social media in public diplomacy to promote the agenda:
We along with 8 other members have called for an emergency Security Council mtg tomorrow in reference to the horrible chemical weapons attack on innocent civilians in Syria. This is becoming all too common. Strong action is needed. pic.twitter.com/Vt3L5fjVla— Nikki Haley (@nikkihaley) 8 апреля 2018 г.
According to POLITICO, she has already been rebuked for her use of the social media platform, as the Office of Special Counsel, an independent federal investigative agency, warned her that she had breached the Hatch Act, which restricts campaign activity by members of the executive branch (except for the president and the vice president) last June when she retweeted President Trump’s endorsement of a South Carolina congressional candidate.
Later, in a September letter, the special counsel’s office stated that “because Ambassador Haley’s personal Twitter account included so much indicia of her official role as Ambassador and was even linked to the United States Mission to the United Nations website, it gave the impression that she was acting in her official capacity when she used this account to retweet President Trump’s message.”
When POLITICO asked an unnamed spokesman for her office why the ambassador did not create a separate official account, he said it was irrelevant because of her existing account @USUN, which represented the entire mission and added that Haley cooperated with the State Department to make sure she abided by social media rules.