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[liberationtech] FT: Gulf states crack down on Twitter users

David Johnson david at
Tue Jun 19 08:46:49 PDT 2012

June 18, 2012 2:16 pm
Gulf states crack down on Twitter users

By Michael Peel

Gulf states are cracking down on alleged politically and religiously
offensive messages on Twitter, in a move that is alarming rights
campaigners and highlights the surging regional popularity of the site.

Human Rights Watch has condemned the detention of activists in Bahrain and
Kuwait, as social media offer a new outlet for criticism in conservative
societies where rulers have traditionally enjoyed near-absolute power in
exchange for delivering high living standards.

The arrests – together with other detentions in Saudi Arabia and the United
Arab Emirates – show how social websites are expanding Gulf public life in
contrasting and sometimes conflicting directions, as nationals
traditionally served only by heavily censored media grapple with rapid
social change at home and the political turmoil gripping the Middle East.



David V. Johnson
Web Editor
Boston Review

Mailing Address:
San Francisco Writers' Grotto
490 2nd Street, 2nd Fl.
San Francisco, CA 94107

Cell: (917)903-3706
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