Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 24 August 2019

Saudi Twitter personality apologises to activist for 'smear campaign'

The case could help to curb nationalistic social media vigilantes in the kingdom

A junior Saudi Twitter personality was forced to apologise to a prominent activist in the Kingdom after she took him to court for what she described as a smear campaign against her.  Dado Ruvic / Reuters
A junior Saudi Twitter personality was forced to apologise to a prominent activist in the Kingdom after she took him to court for what she described as a smear campaign against her.  Dado Ruvic / Reuters

A junior Saudi Twitter personality was forced to apologise to a prominent activist in the kingdom after she took him to court for what she described as a smear campaign against her.

The case could help to curb nationalistic social media vigilantes in Saudi Arabia who have taken to cyberspace to mount personal attacks on compatriots with whom they do not agree.

Muna AbuSulayman, who has more than 550,000 followers on Twitter, said Mutheib Al Matrafi had used statements she had made “out of context to paint me as a traitor and slander my reputation”.

Mr Matrafi is 23 and has 35,700 followers on Twitter.

“This is part of a mob campaign and those who ride this wave must know that they will be held accountable. The law is above all,” Ms AbuSulayman told The National.

She said that although the court proceedings were not over, she had dropped her personal claims to minimise the chances of Mr Al Matrafi going to jail.

He said on Twitter that in compliance with court orders, he had apologised to Ms AbuSulayman “about previous tweets”.

Ms AbuSulayman, the former host of a popular TV show, helped found Al Waleed Bin Talal Foundation, now named Alwaleed Philanthropies, which supports female empowerment, disaster relief and community development.

She is a frequent public speaker in the international arena.

Updated: July 17, 2019 10:20 AM

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