Following the diplomatic tensions flare-up between Saudi Arabia and Canada on Monday, Saudis went to social media to express their support for their courageous government. Some took it a little too far.
Infographic KSA, a Saudi verified Twitter account that has more than 35,000 followers and another 88,000 on Instagram, tweeted on Monday an image that showed an Air Canada airplane heading toward Toronto's CN Tower. Ths image included the Arabic saying: “He who interferes with what doesn't concern him finds what doesn't please him."
The image clearly referenced the 9/11 attacks on the US against with the caption “sticking one's nose where it doesn't belong."
The image was noticed by social media users who pointed out the bad taste of the image, as well as Saudi Arabia's possible involvement with some of the individuals involved in the original 9/11 attacks.
Shortly after, the image was deleted and an apology was posted for the “inappropriate” image. The apology also clarified the meaning intended by the airplane symbolizing the return of the ambassador to KSA. “We realize this was not clear and any other meaning was unintentional.”
The image was later reposted without the plane on the Infographic KSA's Instagram account before it was shut down on Tuesday afternoon.
Infographic KSA, which is believed to be owned by a Saudi youth organization and backed by the Saudi government, has a history of posting infographics that support Saudi government positions and foreign policy.
In the meantime, the Saudi Ministry of Media tweeted they shut down the account until an investigation in the complaints finalised.
While there were no official comments by the Canadian government on the post, the image was widely shared by Canadian and western media.
Since Monday social media has been saturated by the surprising news that Saudi Arabia decided to expel the Canadian ambassador, along with freezing trade and investment ties with Canada.
The news dominated the international headlines and social media, especially in Saudi Arabia, where Saudis launched an Arabic hashtag “السعوديه_تطرد_السفير_الكندي” that literally translates to: “Saudi Arabia expels Canadian ambassador”.
Many Saudis went onto suggest that Canada should mind its own business in handling their local crisis, or help the indigenous women of Canada instead of interfering in Saudi Arabia.
However, some social media users suggested that Saudi Arabia is using government funded internet bot centers to launch this campaign against Canada:
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