MBC4 campaign aimed at championing women's rights causes backlash on social media
A Saudi-funded broadcaster has revoked a women's empowerment campaign it had launched several months ago after receiving a string of sharp criticisms over social media.
In a statement on Monday, the Middle East Broadcasting Center Group (MBC Group) apologised for what it called “offensive” language in reference to recent tweets published over Twitter as part of a campaign launched under the Arabic hashtag #Be_Free which aimed to promote the emancipation of women and reinforce the importance of their role in society.
MBC claimed the tweets were sent out by an employee and had not been part of the original messaging of the campaign.
Social media users circulated screengrabs of alleged posts from MBC4's account, some of which the statement claimed had been fabricated.
Translation: "#Be_Free… Because you weren't created to be a follower nor someone's shadow."
In the statement, the group said that it deleted a number of posts that it considered "unsuitable", and stated that MBC would take relevant measures with any individual proven to have taken part in the "deviation" of the campaign, whether deliberately or not.
While the original campaign tweets have since been deleted, screengrabs are circulating online but MBC says some of them have been "fabricated".
The broadcaster claimed that the tweets, which were viewed as provocative by some social media users, had negatively impacted the campaign.
Translation: The #Be_Free campaign, logos and pictures, an explicit call for rebellion.Whoever calls for absolute freedom is looking to spread chaos.
— خالد العلكمي (@AlkamiK) April 3, 2017
Users also advocated boycotting the company because of the campaign.
Translation: Look after the cleanliness of your home.
— فهد الجذْمي (@jathmy) April 5, 2017
But some followers were more conciliatory about MBC's "good intentions" following its clarification.
— fouratsakka (@fouratsakka) April 3, 2017