Tuesday, 27 June 2017
Trump and 8-year-old Syrian girl ‘most influential people on the Internet’ – Time magazine
US President Donald Trump and an eight-year-old refugee from Syria, Bana Alabed, have been named by the Time Magazine among the most influential people online. With his legendary tweets, from #corrupthillary to the cryptic-slash-nonsensical "covfefe," the 45th US president made it to the "unranked" list along with 24 other cyber celebrities with powerful presence on social media and ability to make headlines. Trump has been famously using Twitter to push his policies and to rail against his enemies and critics.
Also making the list is Bana Alabed, a now 8-year-old girl from Syria, whose pinned tweet from December 2016 said she was "talking to the world live" from East Aleppo, then held by both opposition groups and terrorists. "This is my last moment to either live or die," the post claimed. Hundreds more followed. While the Twitter-verified account, said to be managed by the girl's mother, Fatemah, has generated some 365,000 followers, its authenticity, as well as the motives behind it, have been called into question. Doubts have been raised as to Bana’s ability to timely post hashtags and tweet in an area that doesn’t always have electricity or internet. According to Time, Bana was safely evacuated from Aleppo, and is now living with her family in Turkey as refugees. From there, she has criticized her fellow influential twitterati member, Donald Trump, questioning his US travel ban on people from several Muslim-majority countries. Others on Time’s list are Harry Potter author JK Rowling, Russian opposition figure Aleksey Navalny, as well as pop singer Rihanna and the ever-present Kim Kardashian.