The stereotype that the elderly are technologically incompetent is of debatable veracity, and Saudi Arabia’s Minister for Media and Culture Abdel Aziz Khoga is a leading argument for the stereotype’s validity. Like most of Saudi Arabia, he stays up with modern trends by reading the seventh-century novel titled The Qur’an, which was possibly written during his childhood. His fashion is also equally up to date. Putting a person like Khoga in a position of authority over social media can only result in one outcome: disaster. Oh wait, it already has.
“People have to take care of what they are writing on Twitter… it’s getting harder to observe around three million people subscribing to the social network in the kingdom,” Khoga recently stated when interviewed on the subject. In Saudi Arabia, big brother is watching you tweet – and will arrest you if you say something that could be interpreted as dissidence or apostasy. Multiple Saudis have been arrested and charged with apostasy for criticizing radical Islamists and for organizing left-wing rallies against the nation’s sharia government.
Khoga called upon Saudis to “raise their awareness” and help with government efforts to keep Twitter squeaky clean for the prophet Muhammad (pigs be upon him.) This call for action came after Saudi Grand Mufti Abdul-Aziz Aal ash-Shaykh called Twitter a “council of jokesters” and claimed Twitter was a den of falsehoods and unjust posts. He also told Saudis to avoid using the social networking site. It is unknown whether Khoga or Aal ash-Shaykh is more prehistoric, but it is painfully clear that neither should be allowed any influence over the internet because they don’t know how anything about internet use or culture.