The U.S. embassy in Cairo briefly shut down its official Twitter account after a viral spat with Egypt's presidency and the country's Muslim Brotherhood party.
According to Foreign Policy's The Cable, U.S. Ambassador Anne Patterson decided to take down the account on Wednesday without consulting the State Department. "This not a permanent shutdown. Embassy Cairo considers this to be temporary. They want to put new procedures in place," an official told The Cable.
The account was back up on Wednesday afternoon.
The account's brief suspension came in the wake of an argument on Twitter following the arrest of famous Egyptian satirist Bassem Youssef.
Youssef, who is often compared to American comic Jon Stewart, had been questioned by Egyptian state prosecutors last week on accusations of insulting President Mohamed Morsi and Islam.
The Twitter dispute started when the U.S. embassy in Cairo on Tuesday tweeted a clip of Jon Stewart's The Daily Show, in which Stewart took on the Youssef controversy. The tweet has since been deleted.
The Egyptian presidency did not exactly appreciate the move, and replied the following:
— Egyptian Presidency (@EgyPresidency) April 2, 2013
Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood weighed in, too. Max Fisher points out in the Washington Post that the Brotherhood tweeted a link to a 2010 Al Jazeera Arabic segment that focused on an argument between Stewart and then-CNN host Rick Sanchez, who was fired for alleging that Jews control the media.
— Ikhwanweb (@Ikhwanweb) April 2, 2013
This is not the first time the U.S. embassy has sparked controversy on Twitter.
In September 2012, the embassy butted heads with the Muslim Brotherhood in the wake of an attack on the American compound in Cairo over the anti-Islam film "Innocence of Muslims."
"We r relieved none of @USEmbassyCairo staff were harmed & hope US-Eg relations will sustain turbulence of Tuesday's events," @Ikhwanweb retweeted Muslim Brotherhood leader @KhariatAlShater at the time. "Thanks," the embassy replied. "By the way, have you checked out your own Arabic feeds? I hope you know we read those too."
Check out the controversial tweets in the slideshow below: