New Sectarian Bots Still Flooding Twitter with Anti-Shia Hate Speech

On June 22nd, after I completed this investigation on automated Twitter bots,  Twitter looked into it and banned multiple accounts after confirming bot-like activity. These apparently automated accounts were sending thousands of sectarian Tweets per day on the #Bahrain hashtag. However, I have been monitoring the hashtag regularly, and it has yet to show diminished […]

Around 51% of Tweets on #Bahrain Hashtag Created by Automated Sectarian Bots

Yesterday Twitter suspended 1800 sectarian bot accounts after me and a Bahrain Watch colleague contacted them with the results of an investigation conducted yesterday (You can read that here). A brief summary; the de-nationalisation of Isa Qasim prompted lots of activity from suspicious looking Twitter accounts that were all Tweeting the same thing, essentially justifying the […]

The Automation of Sectarianism: Are Twitter Bots Spreading Sectarianism in the Gulf?

**Update** After writing this article, and sending it to Twitter, they subsequently suspended up to 1800 accounts and are investigating more.  The recent de-nationalisation of Isa Qasim, Bahrain’s most prominent Shia cleric, sparked a massive public reaction in Bahrain and across the globe. The move, which made Isa Qasim stateless (ironically on World Refugee Day), is […]

The Removal of Isa Qasim’s Nationality

Today the Bahraini government stripped Isa Qasim of his nationality. Although Isa Qasim, Bahrain’s most prominent Shia cleric, was born in the Bahraini village of Diraz, nationality is seen by some in Bahrain as a gift bestowed by the ruling Al Khalifa family. This sentiment was summed up by the pro-government Bahraini columnist, Faisal al-Shaykh, who wrote […]