All is Well in the Kingdom, Sort of- Gunfire in Riyadh Prompts Social Media Frenzy

By Faye Higbee

Reports of “heavy gunfire erupting near the King’s Palace in Riyadh” prompted a frenzy on social media. Was it just a small drone or a toy plane that got shot down? Was it a coup attempt? Did they evacuate Mohammed bin Salman to a bunker? Was the king killed in the gunfire? The official Saudi report said that it was a “toy drone” that was shot down near the palace and rumors of a coup were just rumors.

One journalist was the voice of reason:

“All the rumors about Riyadh seem to miss some essential questions. The city is not on lockdown. Social networks are working. There aren’t helicopters in the air or armored vehicles in the street. So the rumors about a major incident would seem unfounded. We will see.” Seth Frantzman

But there was absolute chaos on social media:

Entertainment value: priceless.