5 horror stories about social media influencers — and Dubai makes the list

Updated 30 January 2018

5 horror stories about social media influencers — and Dubai makes the list

LONDON: Social media influencers are back in the spotlight following the naming and shaming of British YouTuber Elle Darby. After requesting a free four-night stay at a Dublin hotel in exchange for coverage on her social media channels, Darby found herself in the middle of a social media spat with the hotel owner, Paul Stenson, who attacked Darby’s lack of “self-respect and dignity.”
But Darby is far from the only online influencer to have provoked a negative reaction, as the unruly multi-million dollar, fast-evolving industry tries to find its feet. And this is just as much the case in the Middle East, as it is in the West. 
Dubai-based PR and marketing agencies have told Arab News some of the highs and lows reported by those hiring — and firing — the market movers of today and tomorrow. 

Bloggers Behaving Badly
A Middle Eastern travel influencer asked to be paid 30,000 dirhams ($8,000) for a free one night stay at a hotel. 
A fashionista influencer failed to return an expensive designer coat after being loaned it for a write-up.
An influencer accepted a 50 percent down payment on a long-term marketing partnership, but only managed ONE solitary Instagram post.
An influencer wasted $20,000 of a client’s money when she didn’t like the storyboard of a commercial she was involved in, according to a Dubai-based marketer, who says the influencer then stopped responding to calls, even though she was being paid $80,000.
A Middle Eastern influencer who signed up to partner with a fast-moving consumer goods brand, only to send his manager to a campaign briefing while he slept in his car.
The rewards of the industry are immense, with beauty blogger Huda Kattan reportedly earning $18,000 per post, according to HopperHP.com.

Top Dubai social media influencers
1. Huda Kattan
Platform: Instagram... Followers: 24M
If you’re interested in: Beauty 

2. Abdullaziz Baz
Platform: Instagram... Followers: 4.6M
If you’re interested in: Humor

3. Mo Vlogs
Platform: YouTube... Followers: 4M
If you’re interested in: Luxury LifeStyle

4. Taim Alfalasi
Platform: Instagram... Followers: 2.4M
If you’re interested in: Travel and Food

5. Khalid Al-Ameri
Platform: Instagram… Followers: 175K
If you’re interested in: Social Commentary

6. Mohanad Alwadiya
Platform: Twitter... Followers: 142K
If you’re interested in: Real Estate

7. Bader Najeeb
Platform: Instagram... Followers: 89K
If you’re interested in: Cooking

8. Rashed Al-Nuaimi
Platform: Instagram... Followers: 40K
If you’re interested in: Music


US Congress members push for Al Jazeera to register as foreign agent

Updated 13 July 2020

US Congress members push for Al Jazeera to register as foreign agent

  • US Congress amended the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) in 2018 requiring all foreign media outlets based in America to detail their ties to foreign governments
  • The law is part of the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), which was adopted in 1938 to identify Nazi propaganda outlets in the US

CHICAGO: The Qatari-owned satellite news channel, Al Jazeera, is facing renewed pressure to register as a foreign agent in the US under a two-year-old law.

After a year-long push, the US Congress amended the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) in 2018 requiring all foreign media outlets based in America to detail their ties to foreign governments.

The law is part of the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), which was adopted in 1938 to identify Nazi propaganda outlets in the US.

They are required to include, “a description of the relationship of such outlet to the foreign principal of such outlet, including a description of the legal structure of such relationship and any funding that such outlet receives from such principal.”

Among news outlets forced to register is the Russian-owned broadcaster RT. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, that prompted the Radio and Television Correspondents’ Association — the body in charge of issuing press passes for the US House of Representatives and the Senate — to revoke the outlet’s pass.

Soon after, in February 2019, the China Global Television Network (CGTN) registered under the act and lost access to Congress, although another media outlet funded by the Chinese government, Xinhua News Agency, has not.

Last year, several influential lawmakers demanded the same requirement be imposed on Al Jazeera, whose chairman is Sheikh Hamad bin Thamer Al-Thani, a member of the ruling family.

The broadcaster was founded by the former emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, who handed over power to his son, Sheikh Tamim, in 2013.

The current emir’s brother has been accused of committing murder and assault against Americans in a Massachusetts-based lawsuit, and the Qatar Charity funded by the Qatar Foundation were recently accused of funding terrorist violence that killed or maimed 10 American citizens in Israel.

The signatories include US Senators Tom Cotton, Chuck Grassley, John Cornyn, Todd Young, Marco Rubio, and Ted Cruz, and Representatives Mike Johnson and Lee Zeldin.

“Qatar’s officials have said that government-controlled media is a form of ‘soft power.’ As such, one can reasonably infer that Al Jazeera is a messaging tool for the Qatari government and on its behalf has engaged in inherently political activities and sought to influence public opinion in the US,” the lawmakers wrote.

Click here to read the letter:

https://www.cotton.senate.gov/?p=press_release&id=1161

Critics note that Al Jazeera’s videos on YouTube are stamped with the disclaimer, “Al Jazeera is funded in whole or in part by the Qatari government.”