Anti-Qatar propaganda ads on twitter and ongoing crisis fail to disrupt expats’ lives

Twitter gets paid for promoting content, but the massive presence of propaganda ads on the social media platform could potentially jeopardize its credibility. If this loophole is not soon plugged, it will eventually alienate large number of users.

The anti-Qatar advertisements being promoted by faceless accounts are beginning to annoy twitter users, with ads condemning Qatar appearing on their feeds regularly. The expat community in Qatar is unlikely to get influenced by this spiteful drive, though. This development comes in the middle of a blockade imposed on Qatar by Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain and Egypt. They claim Qatar supports terrorism, a charge Doha strongly denies.

Twitter users across the world are raising questions about this vulnerability and wondering how unidentified people are able to push unverified matter. Twitter’s Ian Plunkett, in light of such activities, told media that they will “offer everyone visibility into who is advertising on Twitter, details behind those ads, and tools to share your feedback with us.” It’s a good start.

There is no evidence to suggest that the blockading countries are behind this smear twitter campaign, but Saudi Prince, Al Waleed Bin Talal, reportedly owns nearly five percent of Twitter Inc.

Expats live life as usual

Remarkably, the five-month long ongoing siege imposed on Qatar has not impacted the lives of the almost 2.2 million blue collar expats from South and South-East Asia. Life and services have not come to a standstill. Expatriates from different nationalities and cultures have resisted the siege and rejected external dictations with dignity. Most importantly, the standoff has brought the Qataris and the expats closer to each other than ever before.

Any initial anxiety and fear of scarcity of daily supplies, price rise and prospects of job loss lasted for only a short period. Many are still bringing their families to Qatar by seeking residence visas.

Samir Dahal, a Nepalese migrant worker who recently married, is planning to bring his wife to Doha soon. “I don’t read newspapers much and I am not really overly concerned about the current crisis. I am only focusing on working hard and earning enough money to raise our future child.”

Shamim Mahmood, who hails from Dhaka and has been working in Doha as a construction worker at the Al-Bayt Stadium in Al-Khor, says it’s unfortunate that the problem continues but his life remains unchanged. “Of course we want Qatar and its neighbours to live in peace and harmony, but as far as my daily livelihood is concerned, it’s just fine. I was fearful initially but everything has settled down now.”

Indians continue to come in hordes, too, seeking new opportunities that keep arising.

The conflict is in nobody’s interest, though. If all stakeholders don’t sit together soon and resolve their differences through dialogue and consensus, everybody will stand to lose in the long run.

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