If you're looking for new follows to spice up your Instagram feed, why not check out the official account of Syria's one and only dictator, Bashar al-Assad. Yes, the Syrian president has opened up an official Instagram account to show off all the great things going on in his country that are not part of the brutal two-year civil war tearing apart the rest of it.
The photos aren't the candids, selfies, and food shots of a typical Instagram account, but are mostly staged photos of Assad and his wife doing presidential and First Lady things, like visiting people in hospitals, hugging children, waving to adoring crowds, and unveiling things. It isn't even propaganda so much as it is a really boring family slideshow.
There is one flaw however. While most of his 3,600 followers are faithful supporters of the government, the comments are open to anyone — leading to awkward moments like this. Even the most oppressive regimes can't control the wilderness of social media.
P.S. Helpful readers remind us that Iran's Ayatollah Khamenei has been on Instagram for awhile now. His account is a lot more "me"-centric, but equally tasteful and unexciting.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.