#SummerInSyria: Damascus feels the heat of its holiday hashtag

#SummerInSyria: Damascus feels the heat of its holiday hashtag
1 min read
29 Jun, 2015
Blog: An attempt by Assad's state-controlled media to launch a cool viral campaign showing Syrians enjoying their summer has seen a backlash among social media users.
Around 220,000 Syrians have died in the on going civil war [Twitter]
Someone at Syria's English-language state news agency didn't think this one through.

The goal was simple - to show ordinary Syrians enjoying their summer, sharing their snaps of sunshine funtimes.

But Twitter is a fickle billion-headed beast that rarely behaves according to the gameplan of state-controlled news agencies.

"Now that #Summer is upon us, snap us your moments of summer in #Syria using the hashtag #SummerInSyria," tweeted the Syrian Arab News Agency.

And instead of being presented with happy photos of beach parties and streets decorated with Ramadan lanterns, they got grim images of the reality of death and destruction behind four years of civil war.

Twitter users were quick to hijack the hashtag and react with sarcastic tweets and graphic images.

Even the US embassy got involved:

The Syrian civil war began in 2011 when President Bashar al-Assad launched a violent crackdown on pro-democracy protests.

It has since killed around 220,000 people and has caused more than half of all Syrians to flee their homes.