Twitter provides a wonderful menu of entertainment options, especially when it to official statements by government figures. For example, when the Russian government tweets, there’s always someone ready to step forward with a mocking rebuttal. Such was the case on May 12 when the Russian embassy in the U.K. tweeted a screenshot from the classic PC strategy game Command & Conquer: Generals to illustrate what those Syrian extremists are really capable of.
— Russian Embassy, UK (@RussianEmbassy) May 12, 2016
The three trucks seen in the image have a wholly different purpose though. They are three different kinds of suicide bomb trucks, starting off with basic explosives that can then be upgraded to high-explosive and bio bomb variants. Admittedly, the embassy did have the sense to write “image for illustration purposes only.”
It’s OK, Russia. We understand not everyone has the energy to put relevant material in the eye of the public, but perhaps a little more devotion to relevant image material would be in order? After all, it’s been more than 13 years since that game was released. But you could have used a game you’ve already made use of, like Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain — you know, to stay relevant.
Twitter was quick to show its enthusiasm for the flawless illustrative material.
— Arnaud D. (@Arn_Del) May 12, 2016
— Greg Turtle (@turtlestudio) May 12, 2016
It’s good to see that the Twitter community’s team spirit never fails to take a jab at government officials who commit the cardinal sin of of assuming they know how to work the internet. But perhaps the embassy staff has achieved its goal after all, given that at the time of this writing, the tweet has 1,569 retweets and 1,452 likes. Still, they may want to reconsider whether all publicity is good publicity.
Then again, social media doesn’t seem to be their thing in the first place. It’s not unusual for Russia’s government to issue odd tweets. The same account once tweeted an image from the zombie movie Dead Snow to show what the country thought of Nazism. It’s not exactly what we’d call a good way to communicate your position toward extremists, nor are virtual bomb trucks to illustrate chemical ammunition.