Former Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri's Twitter activity landed him in the eye of an online storm Thursday, as a brief exchange he shared with IDF Spokesman in Arabic Major Avichay Adraee had his followers up in arms.
Hariri is known as a prolific tweeter. On Thursday, his usual "good morning" tweet met a similar greeting by Adraee, who has been diligently increasing the IDF Arabic Spokesman's online activity in Arab social network sites.
Adraee's Twitter account depicts him in his IDF uniform and features the Israeli flag – two facts that Hariri's followers were quick to notice – and disapprove of.
Hariri's page was soon filled with rebukes and the outrage eventually led to a formal apology by the former Lebanese PM: "When I answered today's good morning greetings, I answered one some of you say belongs to an Israeli (defense) official's Twitter account.
"If that's true I would like to clarify that I did not know it when I answered him, since I consider Israel to be an enemy state," he wrote.
Lebanese media affiliated with Hezbollah, like the Al-Akhbar newspaper and Al-Manar television, were quick to report the incident, dubbing it "Tweeting with the enemy," in an attempt to ram the Shiite group's political adversary.
A Facebook group affiliated with Syrian President Bashar Assad did the same.
Major Adraee posted the following response on his Twitter page: "(On) a media storm because of 'Good Morning' from the Lebanese figure: I respect his opinion and regret if he was offended, but I think that the role of networking is to open doors, not shut down."
The IDF Arabic Spokesman's Twitter page is moderately popular and has nearly 6,000 followers; over half of whom are from Egypt, followed by Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.
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