Facebook criticised over inappropriate content
ABU DHABI: Popular social networking site Facebook has come under renewed pressure in the region after it was revealed the site has displayed profile pictures of UAE-based expats involved in mundane activities that do not involve crystal clear Gulf waters, extreme sports or the consumption of copious quantities of champagne.
The head of the Ministry for Culture, Tourism and the Dissemination of a Sense of Utopian Bliss, Dr Mahmoud Cousteau, commented: “It is entirely inappropriate for Facebook to create the image that our guests in the UAE should ever be forced to partake in such banal pursuits as drinking a cup of tea or engaging in a routine conversation about the state of traffic, yet to look at some of the images presented by Facebook this is exactly the sort of impression an uninformed outsider could get.”
He continued: “Clearly this is no way to instill a burning sense of jealousy and resentment in the hearts of our expatriate population’s fellow countrymen as they go about their hum drum lives at home – a vital resource to ensure the continuing flow of foreign workers into the country’s burgeoning economy.”
Long-term Abu Dhabi resident Jean-Claude Smith, chief fudge-packing engineer at a local confectioner, and originally from Belgium, went one step further. “It’s just gone beyond a joke,” he told The Pan-Arabia Enquirer. “And it’s not just the photos. Thanks to status updates like ‘Another 26 hour day at the office. I want to eat my own eyes’, I’ve seen from my colleagues, it seems my friends at home barely even aspire to my Utopian seaside life anymore. My sense of smug superiority has been seriously dented and if Facebook won’t address this I think a ban may be the only option.”
Cousteau from the Ministry didn’t go so far as to calling for a ban, but suggested that there should be compulsory phrases that any UAE-based expat updating their Facebook status would be forced to include. “I’d like to see ‘Another Day in Paradise’ at the end of every status update by 2013,” he said.
Facebook were unavailable for comment as its entire Middle East team had gone wakeboarding, after which they were planning an all-you-can-eat champagne buffet.