Must try harder: Arab celebs learn their social media lessons the hard way

Published October 8th, 2012 - 12:13 GMT

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Elissa
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Image 1 of 13: Elissa's time-out from mud-slinging matches, in broad 'twi-light' with Haifa, taught her the value of Arab peace-keeping: If you must take to Twitter to share sympathy with one Arab country's plight then don't forget others. She upset fans by pledging sympathy for Qatar's mall-fire children while keeping mum on Syria's dead infants in Hola.

Ahlam
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Image 1 of 13: Ahlam, ever the Tweeting “diplomat”, lost fans in droves with an an I 'heart' Hosni Mubarak recently. Struggling to bite her online tongue, she lashed out at co-Judge Ragheb Alameh - making for more than a few awkward moments to come on the Arab Idol panel.

Haifa Wehbe
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Image 1 of 13: Haifa is a big gun on Twitter and otherwise non-fans have been sold by her Twitter persona: While not one to pass up the occasional catfight, she maintains her cool-cat image with plenty of sarcasm. Asked why she didn’t tweet in Arabic, she said “Toz! (Screw that!)” But then, she's a pop-star not a Good Will Ambassador (that would be Nancy).

Mai Ezz Eldin
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Image 1 of 13: Mai Ezz Eldin rages against the social media machine. The actress was overcome with fury when she stumbled on fake Facebook and Twitter accounts issuing false statuses and tweets in her name! She went straight on the war path to straighten up her social media reputation, tarnished by forgery and fraud. Curses!

Rashed Al-Majed
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Image 1 of 13: Rashed Al-Majed stays in the dark ages but sees the light: Maybe this Saudi celeb's on to something as he eschews both Twitter and Facebook in favor of keeping it real and talking to fans in the flesh or from the concert stage. What a nice guy, eh ladies?

Dominique
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Image 1 of 13: An Arab woman airing her dirty laundry? Well Dominique certainly did when she posted photos of herself in red lingerie on a motorbike, saying she hoped she would satisfy men's fantasies. Later when inundated by underwear modeling offers she back-pedaled furiously, claiming she’d been 'misunderstood'.

Assala Nasri
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Image 1 of 13: Assala Nasri cuts herself loose: This year the 'diamond' charity heart shocked thousands by committing the cardinal twitter sin - she left the site, leaving her 14,000 followers in the lurch. "I have been surprised with some who I can't bear anymore and that is why I have decided to sever this link." So no blame on her part then?

Shatha Hassoun
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Image 1 of 13: Shatha Hassoun has been inundating tweeps with calls for fashion advice for some time but last month her wardrobe over-shares really went afoot when she posted a photo of her bare feet post-new shoes look! A tweet too far? Well, if the shoe fits!

Unofficial site for Fifi Abdo
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Image 1 of 13: It wasn't me! Fifi Abdo, the famous Egyptian belly dancer, denied having any Facebook or Twitter accounts. She said people were guilty of online identity fraud. To what nefarious ends would these social media hacker-crooks be hijacking her name and notorious image?

Amr Diab
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Image 1 of 13: Amr Diab rushes in: The star set up web-chat with fans on his FB page, expecting to talk shop, but was left shame-faced when asked about rumors of an Elissa duet…something he was keen to keep schtum! He later waded in on Egyptian politics- a no go area in Tahrir let alone Twitter.

Sherine Abdel Wahab on Twitter
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Image 1 of 13: Sherine Abdel Wahab looked set for a royal showdown after social networking fans started to call her 'Queen' - a title that used to belong to UAE singer Ahlam. But loyalty won out and even after a rumored mental breakdown, Sherine-fans kept up the support on her Twitter and Facebook pages.

Ragheb Alamah
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Image 1 of 13: Ragheb Alamah is staying well clear of the drama: Alamah fans on twitter complained to him that diva, Ahlam, was mocking and attacking them (as well as him), and looking like the cat who'd got the cream. They pleaded with him to intervene but Ragheb would only reply:”Eh, let her be happy.”

Tamer Hosny
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Image 1 of 13: Egypt's 'gangsta' Tamer Hosny, who has collaborated with Snoop Dogg, played it desperate in the social media world. According to rumors, Hosny had to buy Twitter followers rather than gain them. Looks like a stint in tweeting rehab is up next.

While many Arab celebs have thrown themselves into the eye of the Social Media storm and taken to it like ducks to water, some may need a little guidance to avoid drowning in the rip-tides or stumbling across those pitfalls.

It’s not always plain sailing for the stars who are often left floundering after social networking gaffes and blips. Where PR consultants or spin doctors may have once been able to handle their press statements and public manner, Twitter is now leaving indelible evidence and an online trail of drama and hot-headed brattiness.

Celebrities in the Arab world are not doing themselves any favors through their social media conduct. Their tendency to get petty, crude or too political, leaves something to be desired in this relatively new arena. Often, they are guilty of opening new channels and access to their personal life that they then realize they want to close.

Petty catfights, overshares (TMI) and the cardinal social networking sin of silence can often leave the stars the laughing stock of the net, with egg on their face or worse still with no followers or friends. Perhaps stars of Arabia would be well-advised to consider a boot camp for social media, or therapy sessions with netiquette consultants. We at Al Bawaba sure would have less to write about!

A gallery of gaffes, drama, tears, tweets and triumphs gives us a flavor of what we're dealing with.

 

Share your views on your favorite stars online: how are they handling their accounts? Do you have favorite Facebook Arab celebs or Twitter personalities you follow? Do you have advice for any of the rich and famous online?

 

 

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