In Graphs: How pro-Saudi Twitter Bots Boost Donald Trump’s Ego (and his retweet count)

We know Donald Trump likes to tweet. Given his waning popularity, he probably needs those social media dopamine hits more than most of us. However, while Donald Trump’s actual popularity among living humans remains the stuff of intrigue, especially with accusations of various forms of electoral manipulation by Cambridge Analytica, the Russians, and bots, his … Continue reading In Graphs: How pro-Saudi Twitter Bots Boost Donald Trump’s Ego (and his retweet count)

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Saudi Royal Court Advisor Saud al-Qahtani is Using Bad Science to Inflame Tensions with Qatar

Saud al-Qahtani, is no stranger to controversy. Nicknamed Dalim by some, he is the Advisor to the Saudi Royal court and General Supervisor of the Center for Studies and Information Affairs. He was recently in the news claiming that Saudi had unearthed thousands of fake, pro-Qatar Twitter accounts, despite providing no evidence in the former … Continue reading Saudi Royal Court Advisor Saud al-Qahtani is Using Bad Science to Inflame Tensions with Qatar

From Hair Removal Products to Sectarianism: Propaganda Wars on the Al Awamiyya Hashtag

Some people have reported that Twitter hashtags relating to a siege on a Saudi town have been heavily contaminated by bots or PR accounts. The siege has been heavily politicised in the news, with different news sources reporting different things depending on their religious bias or sympathy towards Iran or Saudi. The Saudi Gazette, for example, … Continue reading From Hair Removal Products to Sectarianism: Propaganda Wars on the Al Awamiyya Hashtag

Experimenting in Mapping Online Anti-Shia Sectarianism on Twitter in the Middle East

Wouldn't it be interesting to see if sectarianism itself was more dominant in one place than an other, at least online? Are some countries/cities more sectarian than others? Is sectarianism a localised phenomenon, despite what we might see in the news? If we knew this, we could then highlight where to prioritize tackling it. Methods In … Continue reading Experimenting in Mapping Online Anti-Shia Sectarianism on Twitter in the Middle East

Iran-backed plotters need to get their shit together: Iran plots through the ages

It has become a well worn and familiar trope in Bahrain, 'Government foil Iran-backed plot'. Usually when there's a bout of unrest, dozens are arrested and most miraculously 'confess' to being part of the plot. Most of the plots involve the conspirators stockpiling guns and weapons and confessing. There have also been plenty of fake … Continue reading Iran-backed plotters need to get their shit together: Iran plots through the ages