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.
— SANA English (@SANA_English) June 22, 2015
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.
#SummerInSyria is a once in a lifetime opportunity to watch AND TOUCH
Another wryly posted that he was having some “tea and enjoying the view from my balcony” together with a photo purportedly showing the shattered remains of the city of Homs.
— Abdul (@al_7aleem) June 23, 2015
The Syrian civil war began in 2011 and is estimated to have taken more than 220,000 lives.