The New Arab Logo

Breaking News
Qatar advises citizens to not feed the Twitter trolls as Gulf neighbours lead cyber attack Open in fullscreen

The New Arab

Qatar advises citizens to not feed the Twitter trolls as Gulf neighbours lead cyber attack

A Saudi Twitter bot army has been deployed to steer narratives on Twitter [Getty]

Date of publication: 9 June, 2017

Share this page:
  • 0

  • twitter
Qatar has urged its citizens to take the moral high ground and not engage in online arguments during a political standoff with its Gulf neighbours.

Qatar has urged its citizens to take the moral high ground and not engage in online arguments during the ongoing political standoff with its Gulf neighbours.

Doha's communications office issued a statement early on Friday advising Qataris and residents to mind "Islamic values" on social media as the row rages in cyberspace.

"We call on all those who live on this good land to rise up and continue to avoid responding similarly to the abuses that spread in various means of mass communication," it read.

"We also call upon you to show more responsibility, of which you are well known, and not to insult countries, their leaders or peoples,"

It added that Qataris must take heed of their "true Islamic religion, humanitarian values and authentic Qatari culture" while communicating online.

The move comes as the emirate has become embroiled in an escalating diplomatic dispute with a Saudi-led alliance of nations.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain led a string of countries that this week cut ties with Qatar over what they say is the emirate's financing of extremist groups and its ties to Iran, Saudi Arabia's regional arch-rival.

Qatar denies having any ties to extremists.

Saudi Arabia and its allies have been suspected of extensively using cyber warfare and social media propaganda campaigns as tools to target Doha.

The crisis itself was triggered by the hacking of Qatar News Agency [QNA], with the hackers planting fabricated controversial remarks by the country's emir to incite a fake news-inspired outrage.

In addition to the hacking against QNA, and the possibly connected leaking of the UAE's Washington ambassador's embarrassing emails, Twitter hashtags and bots seem to be a key weapon in the cyber war.

Hashtags in solidarity with Qatar have been trending this week, all the way from Mauritania and Turkey and across the Gulf especially in Kuwait.

A Twitter robot army, linked previously to Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, has been deployed to quickly contain and steer such narratives on Twitter, which has a large user base in the Gulf.

Since the spat began this week, Qatari broadcaster Al Jazeera has come under a wide scale cyber attack after being banned in many of the countries taking part in the Saudi-led onslaught against Qatar.

The New ArabComments

Most Popular

Most Popular

    Read More