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Media Meltdowns

Vice To Employees: Real Quick, What Are Your Thoughts On Saudi Arabia?

Mario Tama/Getty Images

Early this morning, a Vice operations employee posted a message in a company Slack channel with hundreds of employees. The message read: "Hi everyone. If anyone in this channel has 3-5 minutes to spare today, our team would tremendously appreciate your help in gathering some information on associations and perceptions people around the world have about Saudi Arabia. Please help us out and take our survey [heart emoji].”

The attached anonymous survey said its purpose was to "help us gather insight into associations and perceptions of Saudi Arabia." The questions were as follows:

What associations come to mind when mentioning the country of Saudi Arabia?

How do you think people in your country perceive Saudi Arabia?

How do YOU perceive Saudi Arabia? Why do you think these perceptions exist?

What do you know about Saudi Arabia? Can you list 3-4 things about the country or its people?

Would you consider visiting Saudi Arabia for a week's holiday? Why or why not?

Please finish the sentence. I would visit Saudi Arabia, and its capital, Riyadh if...

Please finish the sentence. I would consider moving and working in Saudi Arabia's capital, Riyadh, if...

At some point during the day, the Slack message was deleted from the channel. (Disclosure: I worked at Vice for one year.)

In 2019, the Wall Street Journal reported that Saudi Arabia sought Vice's help to rehab its image in the West. This past April, the Hollywood Reporter reported that Vice was opening an office in Riyadh, which may explain the survey. Vice did not immediately respond to a request for comment, perhaps because they are so busy gathering insight into associations and perceptions of Saudi Arabia.

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