Twitter Accounts linked to Saudi Arabia Launch Incitement Campaigns without Accountability from Twitter
STOCKHOLM - The Skyline International Foundation states that some Twitter accounts related to the Saudi government are launching incitement campaigns against activists on social media. This restricts freedom of opinion and expression, but Twitter administration has not yet taken a strict action to stop this.
In this regard, the Stockholm- based international foundation issues a report showing that there are bands of Twitter users that form a sort of bullying' squads,' working to support MBS and discredit those users who challenge the policies and opinions of the crown prince Mohammed bin Salman
In its report entitled "A lone in the face of Twitter campaigns", Skyline discussed the case of a young and proud Republican American, Jennifer Post, who faced discrimination, harassment, and finally, the closure of her account for expressing her views and defending herself online, alone, with literally no help or assistance from any member of the company.
Skyline's Director "Daniel Rivera" states that Jennifer joined Twitter some time ago, and she used her account to interact with family and clients. Jennifer is an 'average' user, one might say, that she would share her views on many issues and engage in discussions and debates whenever she felt compelled to do so.
In 2018, she became attracted to a story about the princess, Sheikha Latifa, who escaped from Dubai in late February 2018. Her interest in this story led her to meet other girls on the Internet who sympathized with the princess. Slowly she began meeting more and more women, some from Saudi Arabia and the Gulf region. They just wanted to share their stories of solitude or support for the princess with her, as Jennifer recalled during our interview.
In October, after the assassination of the Saudi journalist working for the Washington Post, Jamal Khashoggi, during a visit to the Saudi Embassy in Istanbul, Jennifer supported the US president's reaction to the crisis.
One of her tweets declared that she didn't think it was necessary to intervene in Turkish-Saudi affairs and that the US should not be involved. This tweet was quite popular among MBS supporters who began praising her boldness, and perhaps the fact that the son of the POTUS, Eric Trump liked some of Jennifer's tweets increased her popularity.
Skyline's report presented examples of text messages that Jennifer received to urge her to join the propaganda for the benefit of Saudi Arabia, and upon her refusal to do so, she began to receive all kinds of offensive messages from several accounts related to Saudi activists.
Jennifer reported these events to Twitter, but the company didn't do much to stop the problem. The attacks continued, and the tone of the conversation began to be charged with insults and racist slurs. She was being accused of managing a set of fake accounts.
One day in April, she found that Twitter had blocked her account. She received an email where the company argues that Jennifer was displaying hateful conduct. The main reason, according to the company, was the vast amount of reporting against her tweets. It seems, according to Jennifer, that hundreds of Saudi accounts were denouncing every single tweet she was writing.
Jennifer claims the Twitter did nothing to protect her despite the fact that there were multiple accounts acting against her, although Twitter rules prohibit people from enticing others to attack others".
Skyline points out that Jennifer never recovered her accounts and had to choose other platforms to continue expressing her views and thoughts. t is also quite obscure how the company processes these account reviews.
Twitter assures Skyline that they take this matter seriously on their website, and that they would answer and review claims within twenty-four hours, but this is often not happening. For instance, Radha Stirling, crisis manager, and human rights advocate and founder of 'Detained in Dubai,' witnessed how her six Twitter accounts were closed overnight for no reason.
Skyline emphasizes that there is a substantial and unacceptable lack of transparency about the Twitter review process. The company should supply its users with all the information they need to defend their cases correctly.
It should provide options to resolve their claims and set up procedures to reestablish their accounts following the severity of the violations. It also should make it easier to contact the company to report these abuses and should provide support where it is very much needed. These abuses are taking place under their noses, and Twitter has the tools and resources to stop it.