Just four short months ago, the Saudi religious police said “anyone using social media sites – and especially Twitter – “has lost this world and his afterlife.” This followed Saudi Arabia’s grand mufti, the kingdom’s most senior Muslim cleric, dismissing Twitter users as “fools”. So it is perhaps odd that Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal (who previously noted that “ethics to me are very important”) announced his vociferous support ahead of its IPO as he has invested $300 million in Twitter. “With the 300 million customers they have and half a billion tweets a day, the growth potential is tremendous,” Alwaleed excitedly commented adding that, he’s “totally against anybody who tries to control or censor Twitter or any other social media, even if it is governments. It’s a losing war.” Which seems a little strange given the imam of the Grand Mosque’s public TV appearance warning the Saudi people that “Twitter was a threat to national unity.”
The head of Saudi Arabia’s religious police has warned citizens against using Twitter, which is rising in popularity among Saudis.
Sheikh Abdul Latif Abdul Aziz al-Sheikh said anyone using social media sites – and especially Twitter – “has lost this world and his afterlife”.
The sheikh’s comments echo those of the imam of the Grand Mosque in Mecca in April who used his sermon – seen by millions on TV – to warn that Twitter was a threat to national unity, our correspondent says.
Earlier, Saudi Arabia’s grand mufti, the kingdom’s most senior Muslim cleric, had dismissed Twitter users as “fools”.
And what the rulers are doing… (via Reuters)
Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal says he will not sell any of his shares in microblogging site Twitter Inc when it goes public
“Twitter is a very strategic investment for us. We believe that it is just beginning to touch the surface. We have invested $300 million in the company. We will be selling zero, nothing, at the IPO.”
“With the 300 million customers they have and half a billion tweets a day, the growth potential is tremendous,” Alwaleed said. He said Chief Executive Dick Costolo was “very knowledgeable, very much trustworthy”.
“We hear that the company is valued at $14 billion-$15 billion but there have been trades above this valuation. We believe it might be worth more than that.”
the prince said: “In my discussion with Mr Costolo and the management of Twitter, I cautioned them to be very careful and not to repeat the mistakes of Facebook.
“The lessons are not to brag too much, don’t be greedy – I mean price it right and be realistic.”
He added, “I’m totally against anybody who tries to control or censor Twitter or any other social media, even if it is governments. It’s a losing war.”
So – keeping it simple – do as i say, not as I do!!