A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Monday, September 10, 2012

The Short-Lived Internet Death and Subsequent Resurrection of Abdelaziz Bouteflika

In case you missed it, Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika died for a while over the weekend, but like Husni Mubarak and others who have died on the Internet, Bouteflika's death was greatly exaggerated and limited to social media rumors. He has, in fact, died frequently in the rumor mills since 2005. French blogger Alain Jules, whose original post said Swiss sources indicated he had been declared clinically dead in a Swiss hospital, but whose original post has since been replaced by a "Mea Culpa au President Bouteflika et a ses Compatriotes," was apparently the sole origin of the story, after which various Algerian opposition sites and Twitter took it and ran with it.

Unlike Husni Mubarak, whose last of many Internet deaths was last June and was actually reported by the official state news agency, there was never any major media report of Bouteflika's alleged demise. The Algerians took a little while to deny it, which may have fueled the speculation.

[Update: Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal is not dead either, despite media reports.]

Bouteflika yesterday: Apparently he's feeling MUCH better now:

No comments: