Tess Fatis, who entered the world of fame on social media in Mauritania in 2021, and has thousands of followers, has been criticized for the spread of her clips on social media and in the field of advertising.

However, criticism is considered a success in influencing followers.

Fatis told Sky News Arabia: "We do not all represent the values of society, as the idea of being famous, especially a woman, is alien to Mauritanian society, whatever the content, but we all maintain as many values as we can that may benefit us as the current generation and the future generation."

Always in the crosshairs of criticism

Despite being followed by thousands on social media, most Mauritanian celebrities are criticized by many people, especially women, when it comes to sharing diaries, and what those who denounce the content consider "privacy that should not be shared" on social media, for violating the values of society.

Cheikhna Ould Cheikh, an activist on social media, believes that Mauritanian celebrities need training on how to play the role of "influencer", how to reconcile fame with preserving the values of society.

"Unfortunately, their role is different from the role of world celebrities, as the celebrity usually works to represent his country in the best way, because he is in the center of the ambassador and has a group of people, who influence them and consider him a role model, unlike celebrities here, most of whom suffer from a lack of education," Cheikha told Sky News Arabia about Mauritanian celebrities.

Young musician Sodom Ahmad said criticism of celebrity behaviour was "normal", noting that it was a tax "for fame", especially in "our society".

Sodom told Sky News Arabia:

  • "Most celebrities on social media do not represent the values of Mauritania's conservative society, they only represent themselves, due to their inappropriate content, which is watched by everyone, especially children.
  • However, we have celebrities on social media, we can say that they represent Mauritania.
  • Despite his musical fame, he preferred "not to share his privacy and diaries on all social media sites.

But activist Abdelnasser Bib stressed that the content provided by celebrities in this African country does not "contradict the values of Mauritanian society, given the record number of views and interaction with them."

"They do not contradict the values of society in any respect, otherwise thousands would not follow them," he said.

Abdel Nasser, one of the most prominent users of the social networking site, and followed by thousands, said: "What celebrities should do on social media is interact with national issues, because most of their content is entertainment."

TikTok infuriates Mauritanians

Most of Mauritania's celebrities have recently shined in the space of the social networking site "Tik Tok", through what is known as "tours".

The rulings applied during these tours angered activists, calling on the authorities to block the website from the country, denouncing what they considered "vulgarity that crossed borders."

Mohamed Ould Sidi El Mokhtar believes that "the love of fame and earning" is the main motivation for breaking away from the identity and values of a conservative society.

The love of fame has led "these people to do things they are not convinced of", he says, adding that their content must be "monitored so that children are not affected by it."

"All indications suggest that new generations will be raised on values contrary to Mauritanian society, because the majority of social media influencers are between the ages of 27 and 40," Mohamed said in his statement.

The sharing of family diaries and married life on social media sparked great resentment among activists, and this was considered a violent attack on the social values system by social media users, such as Dr. Dah Adba, a professor of psychology at the University of Nouakchott.

Ould Adbeh told Sky News Arabia that the traditional values of society face "new values that crystallize rapidly and completely contradict them and destroy their foundations, these values thrown by the winds of globalization are of a global nature," noting that social media has become "determining celebrities according to the number of followers of content, regardless of the conformity of this content to the customs and traditions of society, which makes the individual free from the authority of society and stigmatization."

"Mauritanian society clings to its customs to the point of sanctification due to the dominant Bedouin tendency and the strength of social deterrence laws that punish anyone who tries to trample on social values with denigration and social ostracism," Ould Adbeh added, explaining that "some social values have religious foundations that are difficult for the individual to overcome in general, and that the sanctity of customs in Mauritanian society has made the individual more fearful and acquiescent than the social censor who interferes in every small and large part of his life."

Most of the celebrities who face great criticism in Mauritania are active on Snapchat and TikTok, and they often face criticism from Facebook users.

They sometimes face campaigns calling for unfollowers, from all social media sites.