In a move to counter the growing influence of social media sites, a group of Middle East dictators have launched their own online community. Set to go live this week, MyFaceEverywhereBook is an interconnected space completely closed off from the real world in which tyrants, despots and tinpot dictators can share ideas on brutally suppressing protests, post pro-regime propaganda and swap snapshots of their latest palaces and potentially underage mistresses.
According to insiders, there are already fanpages for a number of Swiss banks, military hardware suppliers and Sarah Palin. A sympathy group for Silvio Berlusconi has also been set up, with an incomprehensible message from Libya’s Muammar Gaddhafi referring to “imperialists and communists” already receiving 14 “likes”.
A spokesman for one North African ruler, who is believed to have funded it under a recent defence communication grant from the Pentagon, said that is this is a natural step for a persecuted minority. “We have a voice, too,” he said, “and we have to be heard – particulalry if people are no longer paying attention to the the TV stations or newspapers we own.”
Rumours had surfaced earlier in the week that MyFaceEverywhereBook would be accompanied by a new Twitter-like online platform called TyRant, in which regional despots could publish short messages to their followers. However, the size of each messages proved a stumbling block for developers, with Gaddafi reportedly demanding a minimum of 600,000 characters per ‘Rant’.
Google are believed to helped create the social media platforms, having impressed the surviving Arab rulers with their ability to profess liberal ideas while still making piles of cash in China.