On Saudi social media stars

Mashari Althaydi

Published: Updated:

A Twitter campaign has been going on in Saudi Arabia recently calling blocking the so-called social media stars because of their vanity and reckless attitude that only aims to make gains and that disrespects people’s moral values.

This was the general excuse behind the launch of this campaign and of course there is more to it. Yes, there are ugly phenomena that have spread like wildfire ever since these social media platforms began to consume our time.

Many people have become obsessed with social media networks and some who are inexperienced in journalism or economics or other fields started to voice their opinion and propose solutions.

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They went as far as claiming that if it hadn’t been for their Twitter activity, people’s lives would not have changed for the better. Frankly speaking, some official parties and major companies helped turn these people into “stars” and “symbols” by pumping millions into their bank accounts in exchange of making few tweets or snapchat stories.

Is the current awakening just a meaningless vent of anger? Social media stars may have seen it as a reflection of envy. By the way, I agree that some of those criticizing them actually want to be as famous as they are. This is certain.

Is the current awakening just a meaningless vent of anger? Social media stars may have seen it as a reflection of envy

Mashari Althaydi

The dangerous aspect

However, there’s more to the story. The more dangerous aspect is about the future of values which govern logic and reasoning. Who is supposed to lead who and upon what basis? How do families, schools and people in general maintain the glue of values that hold the society together?

I haven’t touched on the security harm which these social media platforms pose as they are used by old and new terrorist groups to recruit and mobilize people, destroy societies and coordinate attacks. I’ve only talked about the psychological harm they cause due to their vain effect on the general consciousness.

Vanity is vanity, since the days of Habannaka until the era of social media.

This article is also available in Arabic.
Saudi journalist Mashari Althaydi presents Al Arabiya News Channel’s “views on the news” daily show “Maraya.” He has previously held the position of a managing senior editor for Saudi Arabia & Gulf region at pan-Arab newspaper Asharq al-Awsat. Althaydi has published several papers on political Islam and social history of Saudi Arabia. He appears as a guest on several radio and television programs to discuss the ideologies of extremist groups and terrorists. He tweets under @MAlthaydy.

Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.
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