Parody accounts on Twitter have become a new genre of satire, with an Arabic-tweeting U.S. President Barack Obama recently joining the myriad comedy impersonators on the microblogging site, Al-Arabiya reported yesterday
Obama's Arabic parody @ArabicObama claims the Lebanese ambassador in Washington is constantly flirting with him but his attempts at a romantic escapade is repeatedly hindered by the first lady. “My wife Michelle survived an assassination attempt, unfortunately,” read a recent tweet.
Twitter clearly states that it does not allow any kind of impersonation but allows parody accounts, even creating guidelines for them. The guideline said the parody accounts should be named clearly as such, and should distinguishable from the real person.
Numerous other Arabic parody accounts included politicians, clerics, celebrities and members of the royalty. Many parody accounts for the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad had been created, Al-Arabiya said, ever since he began a bloody crackdown on a popular uprising in the country 18 months ago.
“[Media adviser] Bouthaina Shaaban says I'm the most beautiful president in the world. 20 million Syrians call me a giraffe. Who should I believe?” read a recent tweet on the account @bashar_alasad_.
Bashar al-Assad's late father and predecessor, Hafez al-Assad, has a parody account as well, despite being dead more than a decade now.
“A malfunctioning GPS steered our army from Golan to Daraa,” a tweet on the account @hafez_assad from April 2011 read. “We apologize for this inconvenience and hold the U.S. accountable for the GPS.”
Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's parody account @notmobarak had more than 9,000 followers, while one of the longest running parodies belonged to a rather grim organization: al-Qaeda. Twitter account @alqaeda still bears the picture of its late leader Osama bin Laden as its profile picture, who was killed in May 2011.
A tweet posted in July 2012 on @alqaeda account read, "In the 5 years I've been on Twitter, I've posted 617 tweets, gained nearly 37,000 followers & been shot dead once."
* This story was originally published on the Al-Arabiya website on Sept. 10, 2012. You can follow this link to read the full story: http://english.alarabiya.net/articles/2012/09/10/237210.html