Summer in Syria not so hot on Twitter
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Summer in Syria not so hot on Twitter

Assad regime asks social media users to send in photos of their vacations; response is a blizzard of war images

Stuart Winer is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

Illustrative: Syrians walk past a building destroyed in a reported air strike by government forces on the rebel-held town of Douma, northeast of Damascus, on June 16, 2015. (AFP/Sameer Al-Doumy)
Illustrative: Syrians walk past a building destroyed in a reported air strike by government forces on the rebel-held town of Douma, northeast of Damascus, on June 16, 2015. (AFP/Sameer Al-Doumy)

The Syrian regime of President Bashar Assad got more than it asked for on Tuesday when a social media promotion intended to highlight the pleasures of vacationing in the country backfired with responses highlighting the civil war instead.

The semi-official Syrian Arab News Agency posted a message on its Twitter feed calling on users to “snap us your moment of summer in Syria.”

A cheerful message included instructions to mark the messages with the ‘#SummerinSyria’ hashtag — a way for Twitter users to categorize their postings, making them easier for other users to find.

Users were quick to respond, but rather than wish-you-were-here photos, there was a storm of grisly pictures from the civil war showing the devastation and terrible toll in human life — along with biting comments lambasting the promotion.

One user wrote that visiting Syria is “is a once in a lifetime opportunity” to watch and touch fireworks, and included photos of a helicopter dropping a bomb and the resulting damage.

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