Twitter: The evolution of Qatari Bots, and falsely accused Saudi accounts

3 mins read

by Ghaith Tamimi

Surprisingly, within minutes. I found terrifying armies of fake accounts affiliated with Qatar. Yes Qatar.

First of all, thanks to all my great friends who supported me during the suspension of my account after I posted the below tweet:

I was expecting Twitter to take an action against these fake accounts. Instead, the action was taken against me and my account got suspended right after that tweet! Then, I decided to make sure that I was not mistaken as a bot with real humans, and thanks for my account suspension. I got excited to read more and do some researches about these fake accounts or commonly called bots and if they are really prohibited by Twitter.

Then I found something like, “As per Twitter, their power to identify and remove these behaviors are more sophisticated than ever”. So I decided to see how sophisticated they are.

While I was searching about bots, I was surprised that the country that complains most about bots is Qatar and the country most accused of spreading bots is my homeland, Saudi Arabia. Surprising isn’t it?

I can’t completely deny that accusation, but I am active on Twitter, and I do not remember that we never came across these armies of the fake Saudi accounts they are talking about. I haven’t found a single hashtag in which I noticeably saw fake Saudi accounts backing it up!

So where are these fake accounts that Qatar main media arms @AJEnglish and @AJArabic have always reported about, that these fake Saudi accounts ‘ruined’ Twitter in the Middle East! Either they are so good in hiding or simply they don’t not exist.

After days of searching for these Saudi armies of bots, I gave up and decided to dig more and search in general for the bots from anywhere regardless of their origin.

Surprisingly, within minutes. I found terrifying armies of fake accounts affiliated with Qatar. Yes Qatar.

I was surprised to find exact photo and exact words, with exact Hashtags. Coincidently, on the exact day and the exact hour with “funny” names.

I could not believe my eyes. Qatari media’s continuous accusation against Saudi Arabia about the Twitter bots that’s targeting Qatar, Turkey and Iran was just a cover-up for their day-to-day bots operations which is primarily targeting Saudi Arabia.

They are not just targeting Saudi Arabia, but also implementing Qatar’s political agenda by glorifying the Qatari regime and Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, and even supporting news posts from Al-Jazeera English and Arabic.

These Qatari bots are in thousands and thousands. And to realize the unbelievable magnitude of their operations and numbers, see the below clip with fast scrolling.

I believe it is not a hard job for Twitter Safety team to identify these Qatari bots. In fact, you can try it yourself and visit the hashtag: #QatarTurkey, and you will find the Aj Jazeera English news posted the exact hashtag with exact words, photo and on the same day. In fact, it is just a mere copy-paste bots process.

They all joined in 2020, in the year where Twitter’s power to identify them is more sophisticated. They all have fake funny profiles with 0 or 1 follower.

All these forged accounts are affiliated with Qatar, and they support Qatar’s media channels such as Al Jazeera English and Al Jazeera Arabic, as well as their broadcasters, Qatari politicians, athletes and media professionals, in addition to the fake accounts that oppose Saudi Arabia.

Gaith Al-Tamimi is a Saudi-based Engineer, Geophysicist, Explorer and Travel Expert. He tweets under @GaiTamimi1.

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