Egyptians spam Facebook pages of Vin Diesel, Obama, Israel, Lady Gaga ...

Nada Hussein Rashwan, Saturday 10 Dec 2011

Egyptian Facebook users flood celebrities and governments' pages with funny spam-comments that ranged from the political to the absurd in a random, virtual world rally

Vin Diesel in Cairo - or not? (Photo: Internet)

Hundreds of Egyptian internet users took on Facebook pages of celebrities and political figures in a mass-spamming session during a random “virtual world revolution” day.

The move was inspired in a spur-of-a-moment manner when a picture of Vin Diesel, the popular US actor, appeared on his own Facebook page Friday, posing in what seems to be a working class area in Cairo, Egypt.

The photo was frantically shared between Facebook users in Egypt, and received over 50,000 sarcastic Arabic comments between Friday and Saturday.

The random, silly act turned into a demonstration for freedom of expression when a spree of hundreds of sarcastic political comments in Arabic suddenly flooded walls of many facebook pages of political figures and entities such as Barack Obama, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) and the White House.

“Does it operate with a controller or would I still need batteries?” comments one of the sarcastic users on a photo showing the launching of the F-15I plane on the IDF’s Facebook page, 

"This [the F-15I] still operates with our gas, which you’d better start to really pay for soon,” in a reference to the fact that Israel paid Egypt below-market prices for gas the Mubarak regime exported to the former.

A Comment on the White House page instructed the United States to  “stop providing our police with tear gas” referring to the news that the US sent a 21-ton tear gas shipment to the Egyptian government in late November, which Cairo could potentially use against protesters.

Another comment on Barack Obama’s page instructed the US president to “tell [Egypt's military ruler]Tantawi to hand us power, and then we’ll hand you back your Facebook page.”

Another Facebook-protester summed it up on the White House page by saying “just stay the f*** out of our business.”

The movement spread onto fan pages of celebrities such as Kim Kardashian, Megan Fox, Justin Bieber, Eminem, Lady Gaga, as well as popular football players Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

We Are All Khaled Said, the Facebook group through which the 25 January protests were organised, chipped in with its own jokes on the incident as well.

In a satirical reference to diplomatic statements issued by the United States government in times of strife between nations, Khaled Said changed its status on Saturday to read: “In response to the Egyptian Facebook attack campaign, we call on Mark Zuckerburg to exercise restraint by not closing any Egyptian accounts, and to allow freedom of expression.”

Other sarcastic comments are too culture-specific, and would be more difficult to translate from Arabic to English.

On Twitter, Egyptian users have been sharing tweets on the whole epiosode, and started using the hashtag #OccupyFacebook.

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