Images circulating on Twitter on Wednesday, May 3 showed German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s reception during her trip to Saudi Arabia over the weekend.
Saudi state TV, the tweets claim, blurred Merkel’s hair so as not to offend its conservative viewers.
Sarah Abdallah, an “independent Lebanese geopolitical commentator” with over 72,000 followers tweeted what she said was a screengrab of the video.
“Not a joke: The UN’s newest member of the Women Rights Commission censored the German chancellor’s hair when she appeared today on Saudi TV.”
Not a joke: The UN's newest member of the Women Rights Commission censored the German chancellor's hair when she appeared today on Saudi TV. pic.twitter.com/0QwDEArL5l
— Sarah Abdallah (@sahouraxo) May 4, 2017
About an hour later, Pamela Moore, who has nearly 54,000 followers, tweeted the same.
“The UN’s newest member of the WOMEN RIGHTS Commission censored the Angela Merkel’s hair when she appeared today on Saudi TV.”
The UN's newest member of the WOMEN RIGHTS Commission censored the Angela Merkel's hair when she appeared today on Saudi TV. pic.twitter.com/R9eQGmxhx9
— Pamela Moore (@Pamela_Moore13) May 4, 2017
As of 11:15 BST (10:15 GMT) on May 4, Abdallah’s tweet has been retweeted 13,903 times.
The story was, of course, repeated by numerous accounts with smaller followings.
One of them even has a “truth-o-meter” as their image header.
Noted seductress Angela Merkel attempts to drive Saudi men into a state of uncontrollable lust. Luckily censors intervene to prevent crisis. https://t.co/3sBXeqc8Jb
— Christoph (@Halalcoholism) May 4, 2017
It’s worth noting that many other Twitter users pushed back against the claims.
Khase News, a predominately Arabic-language Facebook page, posted the image of Merkel as a joke.
It even said so – in English.
It’s true that Merkel declined to cover her hair during the meeting with Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and other Saudi leaders.
The move got plenty of media attention, as did UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s decision to do the same when she visited Riyadh last month. The media reports noted that former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and First Lady Michelle Obama also wore their hair uncovered in Saudi Arabia.
But Merkel appeared uncensored on Saudi Arabia’s state-run Al Ekhbariya channel when she met the king on Sunday. The two even shook hands.
You can watch the video for yourself on Al Ekhbariya’s YouTube channel.