27 November 2010

The day Abdulwahab Al-Essa became an internet douchebag

Last Thursday, Abdulwahab Al-Essa, one of Alwatan's main news anchors/Alwatan daily columnist tweeted an insult following (or during, not really sure) the Saudi-Kuwait football game.

The insult, بقايا حجاج, is one tribal Saudis often use to taunt Saudis from the Hijaz (eastern) region. Alessa then tweeted two other mundane tweets and called it a day.

Saudis were livid and rightly so. Some on twitter demanded an apology but all they got was a day later, Alessa deleted that tweet and protected his profile.

The next day , Abdullah Wabran, a Kuwaiti sports commentator, apologized to the Saudis and said Alessa doesn't represent Kuwait (obviously). It's rumored that MP Marzoug Alghanim also apologized.

As much as I find his tweet inexcusable, the actions that followed magnified his words 100x.

Let's go through a few internet rules Al-essa forgot:

1) The internet is a public place/echo chamber. Whatever you say is open to everyone else, even with a private profile, and will be repeated a bazillion times.
2) The internet demands immediate action. Allowing the tweet to go undeleted for the amount of time it did was one of the mistakes he made.
3) The internet is forever. Google doesn't forget. Abdulwahab Alessa's name search results will bring up this insult forever.
4) Take control of your narrative as soon as possible. He should've issued an apology and press release IMMEDIATELY following the incident. It's two days later and he still hasn't apologized. Douchey move. He still hasn't sent out a press release.
5) You can only have one identity on the internet. You're either a news man or a stupid kid who can't handle the consequences of his actions. You can't be both.

Abdulwahab may be young but hiding behind his mother's skirt right now isn't doing him any favors.

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