- Middle East/North Africa
The US Embassy’s Twitter page was put back online on Wednesday evening, after the US Ambassador made a temporary decision to shut it down for a few hours. A controversial tweet, posting a clip of a political satire program, The Daily Show, mocking Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy was deleted.
The page had published a video of an excerpt from comedian Jon Stewart's program where he mocks Morsy for targeting satirist Bassem Youssef instead of tackling sexual harassment, assault, rising inflation and unemployment.
The president's office tweeted in response to the US Embassy, "It's inappropriate for a diplomatic mission to engage in such negative political propaganda."
Bassem Youssef himself replied to the tweets of the US Embassy and the Egyptian president's office, sarcastically asking them to make amends.
A State Department official told Foreign Policy Magazine that it was US Ambassador to Egypt Anne Patterson who made the decision to take down the US Embassy in Cairo's Twitter page, without the consultation of the State Department in Washington.
"This not a permanent shutdown. Embassy Cairo considers this to be temporary. They want to put new procedures in place," the source said.
The magazine also reported that this is not the first time the embassy’s Twitter account causes political controversy. It had published a few tweets during the protest outside the embassy on 11 September 2012, associated with the crisis related to a the film insulting the Prophet, to calm demonstrators, something which led the presidential elections campaign of Mitt Romney to characterize the tweets as apologetic and incompatible with American values.