The Sham Idrees Case: A Look at the Evil Side of Social Media

Sham Idrees, who is a popular YouTuber and social media influencer – and no stranger to controversies – has recently been embroiled in another which is one of the clearest signs that social media has a dark side. 

Recently, Sham Idrees posted a clipping on his Instagram account, in which he claimed that he and his family were denied service by Demetres, a cafe in Canada, for being Muslims. What’s to be observed here is the fact that the video lacks audio of what really happened, and not only that but in a follow-up clipping on Instagram, in which he “explains” the incident – not once do we see clear, unedited footage of the occurrence.

Netizens sit divided on the issue. Some are in doubt, while others are choosing to fully believe the influencer. However, some aspects of the incident cannot be overlooked – because they showcase exactly how entitled social media influencers can use their platform as a tool of manipulation.

Kanwal Ahmed, a Pakistani entrepreneur, activist, talk show host took to Instagram to present the other side of the story – what onlookers witnessed during the incident at the cafe.

According to the details shared by her, many other people who were present in the cafe at the time claim that what occurred was not a case of Islamophobia but rather a case of entitlement and spoiled attitude wherein Sham Idrees came to the cafe with 22 people and proceeded to join tables so everyone could sit together. The only problem was this was against COVID-19 regulations and the staff tried to stop him.

Sham Idrees tried to use his influencer privilege to get his way but when denied, he got furious and proceeded to harass the employees for not getting his way. Naturally, being an internet personality that he is, he took to social media to relay the events – only those events are quite one-sided.

There are multiple problems here. One is the fact that such material could easily be used as fodder for views, attention, and likes, something influencers are usually hungry for. Another is the fact that tools like editing can be very masterful weapons for deception. And finally, on a more serious, real-world angle, someone’s livelihood could be stolen from them – which would come at no cost to the influencers themselves.

So who and what to believe? That’s a burden viewers themselves to bear. However, before coming to a conclusion, it is also their responsibility to clearly, impartially look at facts and ensure no harm is coming to any undeserving person or business in the process.

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