Re: [Saudi Arabia] Crown Prince implicated in Kashoggi murderFrom: firstname.lastname@example.org
Oct 18 2018 19:13:20
On Wed, 17 Oct 2018 20:47:11 -0400
NewsBeanie <email@example.com> wrote:
Title: The Jamal Khashoggi Case: Suspects Had Ties to Saudi Crown Prince
Author: DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK, MALACHY BROWNE, BEN HUBBARD and DAVID BOTTI
Date: Wed, 17 Oct 2018 12:41:01 -0400
Podcast Download URL: https://static01.nyt.com/images/2018/10/17/world/17saudi-2/17saudi-2-moth.jpg
Links between Prince Mohammed and at least four suspects in the disappearance
of Jamal Khashoggi may make it harder to advance a “rogue killers” explanation.
RS Wood <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Bring on the info war.
For the past several days, the Saudi Twittersphere has been awash with
patriotism. Saudi accounts have tweeted, in Arabic, a “#message of love
for Mohammed bin Salman” and encouraged one another to “#unfollow
enemies of the nation.” The latter hashtag started trending at 9 a.m.
on Tuesday, peaked at about 5 p.m., and by Wednesday had been mentioned
This might have been because Saudi citizens, consumed by national
indignation, took to their smartphones to show their support for the
crown prince in his moment of difficulty: The disappearance and
presumed murder of Jamal Khashoggi, a Post columnist, under
exceptionally grisly circumstances, has not been good for the
international reputation of the royal family. But it’s equally possible
that those hashtags were pushed by bots — fake, computerized accounts —
as well as by paid, professional Internet trolls. After President Trump
visited Riyadh in 2017, Marc Owen Jones, a Persian Gulf expert at the
University of Exeter, tracked the accounts enthusiastically welcoming
the U.S. president to Saudi Arabia. “Eighty to ninety percent of them
were bots,” he told me.
Despite its medieval aspects, Saudi Arabia is in this sense a
thoroughly modern authoritarian state: Over the past several years, the
Saudi government has fine-tuned a sophisticated information policy, one
that bears a distinct resemblance to the sort used in other states that
have also learned to use social media for social control. As in Russia
— where these things were first pioneered on a grand scale — the Saudi
government understands that it is useless to silence the entire
Internet. Instead, the regime floods the Twittersphere with patriotic
messages designed to drown out critical or credible information.