As the conflict in Syria has grown more heated, social media has been used to spread awareness, particularly about the recent chemical attacks. Instead of cutting off access to the protest social media channels, the Syrian government is running a social media campaign of its own.
According to the New York Times, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is doing his best to maintain a “veneer of normalcy,” which only serves to hide an increasingly aggressive dictator whose solution to the protests taking place in Syria is to liquidate the terrorists.
The report called the Official Instagram account for the Syrian President, a “stream of carefully staged pictures showing the president and his wife carrying out their official functions.” The account depicts the president giving speeches, waving at crowds and holding official meetings. His wife, Asma Assad is also featured, hugging elderly women and feeding the needy in a soup kitchen.
New Republic contributor, Noreen Malone, dubbed the account “The World’s Worst Instagram Account.” Granted, Assad is hardly the first dictator to use Instagram to post self aggrandizing images. In fact, she notes, rulers have often used art to glorify themselves but found Assads account particularly troubling.
“Even if it glorified battle, most victors’ art at least acknowledged the human cost of victory,” Malone wrote.”The Assad Instagram only elliptically hints that all is not well in Syria, via the soup-kitchens and the occasional presence of soldiers. It’s a quashed rebellion free of casualties, in their telling.”
Indeed, it is a bit unnerving to see the carnage of in news reports and on Flickr in juxtaposition with the smiling faces on Syrian Instagram account.