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Twitter campaign puts Vanilla concert on ice

Twitter campaign puts Vanilla concert on ice

Social media can certainly make people ‘stop, collaborate and listen’. But is this power being misdirected?


March 31, 2010 6:16 by

“Is disgusted by #Barasti’s sms that they r not dry tonight!! RT [‘retweet’] & don’t stop until someone shuts it down tonight!! #disrespectful…”

This single tweet, written by Emirati commentator Mishaal Gergawi, perfectly illustrates the power of social media. Gergawi’s message referred to a SMS sent out yesterday by promoters of the planned Vanilla Ice concert at the Barasti Bar in Dubai.

The SMS stated that the gig was going ahead – despite the death of Sheikh Ahmed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and the official mourning period because of it: “STOP! COLLABORATE & LISTEN! VANILLA ICE AT #BARASTI IS GOING AHEAD TONIGHT AS PLANNED. NORMAL OPERATION. WE ARE NOT DRY! NICE, NICE BABY! 5PM-3AM C U ON THE SAND,” the SMS read.

@algergawi’s tweet seemed to work. Dozens of users of the social media site retweeted the message, many of them highly critical of the SMS and the “tasteless and disgusting” decision to go ahead with the concert.

Le Meridien Mina Seyahi, the hotel at which the Barasti bar is located, eventually released a statement saying that the concert had been cancelled.

So, victory to the ‘tweeps’? Perhaps. But some have questioned whether getting a concert cancelled is really that meaningful an achievement.

As @itchyskalp suggested: “how about uae tweeps start caring/protesting/whinging/crying about things that matter… human rights perhaps?” Another offered a suggestion: “Channel #barasti efforts against injustice & oust Israeli settlement builder Leviev diamond shops in Madinat & Atlantis”.

But perhaps the most succinct summary came from user @Allycrighton: “This is hilarious! Dudes, you haven’t overthrown an Iranian regime! You shut down a small, cheesy gig!”


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