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There are social media influencers all over the world. Some of the internet’s finest are putting way more on the line in the name of content than others. I’m talking about time behind bars.
Egyptian TikTok influencer Salma El-Shimy is one such influencer. The plus-size creator has millions of followers across all of the “safe for work” social media platforms. Her largest following is 3.4 million on TikTok.
Last week, El-Shimy was convicted in Egypt of filming and broadcasting inappropriate content. The Economic Misdemeanor Court in her hometown of Alexandria handed down a two year prison sentence. As if a prison sentence wasn’t enough of a punishment, she was also fined roughly $3,230.
Police have accused El-Shimy of profiting off of the content she posts on her social media accounts. Content officials have claimed “offended public morality and modesty.”
El-Shimy was arrested in early April at the Cairo International Airport. She had just returned from a trip to the United Arab Emirates.
After her arrest she was sent to the Dekheila Police Station in Alexandria. While in Alexandria, the Financial and Commercial Affairs Prosecution wrapped up their investigation.
It’s Hard To Be An Egyptian TikTok Influencer Right Now
El-Shimy’s content would be considered very tame by the standards in most parts of the Western world. That’s not the case in Egypt.
There have been a number of similar arrests involving influencers in the country. Provisions to Egypt’s 2018 cybercrime laws have been used as justification for the crackdown.
Evidently this was not El-Shimy’s first run-in with the police over content. In 2020 she was arrested because of a photo shoot where she dressed up as Cleopatra and posed for pictures in front of a pyramid.
All of this in the name of content. You have to give it up for El-Shimy. She’s not out here virtue signaling or throwing up pronouns on her accounts or any sort of nonsense like that.
She’s out here fighting real battles. Battles that go far beyond being flagged for inappropriate content by the platforms themselves. We’re talking prison time.
Most influencers can’t even wrap their minds around those kinds of stakes. We could use a few more influencers like Salma El-Shimy.