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:
@ahadabbasii No coup attempt in Riyadh, was toy plane (Not drone) got close to the walls of King’s palace and was shot down #SaudiArabia #Riyadh@3zooz875 Stop spreading fake rumors it was a small drone flying over restricted area so it got dealt with #اطلاق_نار_في_حي_الخزامي
— Ein Ha (@EinHaha) April 21, 2018
If what happened in #Saudi‘s capital was simply a drone being shot down then that tells you how tense the monarchy is.
They turned the area around their King’s palace into a war zone, firing hundreds if not thousands of rounds.
Also, does anyone in Riyadh know how to aim a gun?
— Haidar Sumeri (@IraqiSecurity) April 21, 2018
— Breaking News Global (@BreakingNAlerts) April 21, 2018
Exclusive: A Saudi official confirms the news about the shooting at the King’s Palace is incorrect and it’s just rumors.
— Riyadh Report (@RiyadhReport) April 21, 2018
— Ryan (@kp_ryn) April 21, 2018
BREAKING: Coup underway at Royal Palace in #Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. AP has reported that Royal Saudi Land Forces (KSA) Lieutenant General Allukas Nepils is leading the military push to oust King Salman… https://t.co/OQIr1FWSrC
— Juan Keville (@JuanyKeville) April 21, 2018
Heavy gunfire reported near Saudi’s King’s palace in Riyadh amid conflicting reports on cause.
Wildly conflicting social media reports tonight claim bullets were either fired as part of an attempted coup – or to shoot down a toy drone . https://t.co/eGCpS2QyzF
— ALPHA PRO (@DTMsport) April 21, 2018
reports claim #Saudi King was killed tonight in a shootout inside the royal palace in Riyadh and his son, Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman fled to a military base. Other reports claim it’s MBS who was killed#USA#US#UK#Turkey#Yemen#Egypt#Iran#Syria#اطلاق_نار_في_حي_الخزامى
— Ur (@JohnLecky3) April 21, 2018
Saudi Forces shot down a toy drone near Saudi King’s palace, and is now actively looking for the pilot, he remains at large, stay safe Riyadh https://t.co/YgMTpssKl9
— Bassem (@BBassem7) April 21, 2018
— Arslan Sherazi (@Arslan__Sherazi) April 21, 2018
How can you verify that the videos are by residents? BTW born and raised in Riyadh and you dont know that the King’s palace is in Erqah not Alkhuzama? Get your facts straight before tweeting!!!!
— MINE.Joy. (@thethought11) April 21, 2018
Entertainment value: priceless.