After Ben Ali, Boris Boillon!

It’s never easy starting a new job. But it can only surely be made worse when you begin by upsetting your host country, and then having to go on national television to issue an apology. That’s exactly what has happened over the past week to France’s new ambassador to Tunisia, Boris Boillon.

During his first press conference since taking up his post on February 16, “Sarko boy”, as Boillon is dubbed by some of the French media, insulted a journalist. His style during the conference was friendly and relaxed to begin with, but it changed when faced with questions about France’s reaction when the Jasmine revolution began. He was dismissive and aggressive both French and Arabic towards one journalist and for many (both in France and Tunisia) it was behaviour reminiscent of his mentor, the French president Nicolas Sarkozy.

A video of the meeting soon made it on to the Net and the people who had so effectively used social networking sites to topple the former leader Ben Ali resorted to the same tactics to call for protests and his resignation outside the French embassy in Tunis. Many groups were created on Facebook, such as this one you can find bellow. 

How we can see below from the 18th to the 25th of february, people made a lot of research about him. It is the so called “Buzz”. Very quickly Boris Boillon became “famous”.

On Facebook many groups and pages were created against him how we can see bellow. They were almost all created around this period.

Group/ Page Number of people/ Like
Boris Boillon Dégage 1,565
Boris Boillon Dégage 1,557
Boris Boillon Dégage 53
Boris Boillon! Dégage 40
Dégage Boris Boillon Casse toi pauver con 51
Boris Boillon doit dégager de la Tunisie 51
Tous contre Boris Boillon 495
Boris Boillon Degage السفير الفرنسي الجديد لا مرحبا بك 99
Boris Boillon Degage السفير الفرنسي الجديد لا مرحبا بك في تونس 16,562
Un charter pour Boris Boillon 52
Boris Boillon casse toi pov con 575
Boris Boillon Dégage 7,287
Boris Boillon Dégage!!! 19
Non a Boris Boillon 705
Boris Boillon casse-toi pov con 412
Boris Boillon régularise ta situation ou dégage 18
Non à Boris Boillon 96
Pour que Boris Boillon ambassadeur de France en Tunisie Dégage 28
Pour que Boris Boillon et ses agents dégagent de la tunisie 237
Pour que Boris Boillon dégage 28

Here is one exemple of a Facebook page against Boris Boillon.

In reaction to this majority of people who seems to hate him, some groups were created to support him. We can find 6 groups with nearly 600 people. It is very low compare to the almost 30’000 people who do not like Boris Boillon.


Boris Boillon’s pages on Twitter. His 6 comments were posted only during the month of february when the scandal happened. Since then, he never tweeted again. Is it the sign of a will to desappear for a certain time?


On twitter and on Facebook and 3 days after his mistake, Boris Boillon said “Really sorry if I offended someone, it was not my intention”.

He did the same on the National TV of Tunisia, the same day.


After his huge mistake, tunisian people were very shoked and claim for excuses. Many groups on Facebook were created to ask for his departure. The buzz was important and a lot af newspapers, blogs and social media talked about this situation. On youtube the number of views of his interview shows how important the buzz was: around 200’000 people watched it.

Only 3 days after the video was published, Boris Boillon had no other choice to apologize publicly on a TV show, on Facebook and on Twitter.

Today, Boris Boillon is still the ambassador of France in Tunisia even if some carry to ask for his resignation how we can see on this Facebook post bellow.

There is no doubt, the power of social media is becoming more and more important… And it is the same regarding the will of arabic people to avoid injustice and to persue them desire of democracy. 

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