US Embassy In Egypt Takes Down Twitter Account After Controversial Jon Stewart Tweet

The U.S. Ambassador to Egypt has taken down the @USEmbassyCairo account after a spat with the Egyptian President’s office over the arrest of an Egyptian television star, a State Department official told Josh Rogin of Foreign Policy.

The handle’s last tweet was a link to the Daily Show’s Jon Stewart talking about the arrest of Egyptian satirist Bassem Youssef, who was detained and fined on charges of “insulting Islam and President Mohamed Morsi.”

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The Egyptian presidency subsequently tweeted at at the Cairo Embassy, the Daily Show, and Youssef, saying: “It’s inappropriate for a diplomatic mission to engage in such negative political propaganda.”

“This not a permanent shutdown [by U.S. Ambassador to Egypt Anne Patterson],” the State Department offical told Rogin. “Embassy Cairo considers this to be temporary. They want to put new procedures in place.”

@USEmbassyCairo has a reputation for going rogue on Twitter. From The Washington Post in November:

“We want to see the constitutional process in #Egypt move forward in a way that does not overly concentrate power in one set of hands,” the account posted yesterday morning, earning a handful of incredulous responses from followers in Egypt and abroad. “The Egyptian people made clear in the January 25th revolution that they have had enough of dictatorship,” it followed up a few hours later, apparently taking sides with the protesters against Morsi.

The account is now back up, but with almost all of its archived tweets deleted.

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