#SueMeSaudie: What Happens When a Government Challenges The Internet

A social media trend that has been sweeping sites like Twitter and Reddit recently, the challenge “Sue Me Saudi” has stormed the internet by surprise. Users across the world with access to the internet have been challenging the accusations of Saudi Arabia, who has been threatening to sue those who dare make the comparison between itself, and the “Islamic State.”

It all started with the case of Ashraf Fayadh, a 35 year old poet who is now facing death row in Saudi Arabia for comparing the barbaric practices of the Saudi authorities in recent years to the practices of Islamic extremists such as ISIS. The claim is not completely invalid, as Saudi authorities have executed at least 151 people this year, with a mass execution reported to allegedly happen in the near future.

Though reports on who exactly made comparisons between the Saudi government and Islamic State are unclear, it is clear that the Saudi government was planning to pursue legal action against the unnamed author for such allegations. Shortly after news of this occurrence broke, international outrage began to spark on forums, news sites, and even social media, ending with thousands of users globally challenging the Saudi government, making the exact comparisons the Saudis threatened against, usually ending with the hashtag (or a reference to the hashtag) #SueMeSaudi.

As of right now, the actual repercussions for these responses are somewhat unclear, though it wouldn’t be too ridiculous to assume that the Saudi government may have just met it’s match: the internet.

For more information on this topic, here is a BBC article, as well as the Twitter feed for the trending hashtag.

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