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Bahrain: Tweeting Against Formula 1

Twitter hashtags are no longer spontaneous, at least not to Bahraini Twitter users who are using hashtags as another tool to spread information about their protest against a regime which has so far granted them cosmetic reforms after a whole year of protest. Although Bahrain's population is small in number, Twitter users are very organized online, using social media platforms as their only way to document the crimes of the regime against them.

This idea to trend hashtags started in solidarity with Abdulhadi Khawaja, a prominent activist and opposition figure, who is sentenced to life imprisonment after being accused of attempting to overthrow the regime and who has been on hunger strike for weeks.

For the previous month, Bahrainis have succeeded in getting several hashtags to trend worldwide. In their latest attempt, they wanted to address Formula 1, the famous car race organiser, to cancel their race in Bahrain in protest against the regime's violations against human rights. The race is scheduled to be held from April 20 to 22, 2012.

Twitter users announced the hash tag on this account @Feb14TT:

@Feb14TT: غردوا على ‬#BloodyF1‪ Tweet on This Hashtag Only NOW !!!

The rest followed on cue as Twitter users started tweeting and trying to get the hash tag to show in the top trending topics worldwide:

@ROMI14FEB: We never got enough media attention and now ur disrespecting our martyrs and prisoners by allowing the #BloodyF1 in Bahrain”

@asoolalsayed: I don't support the #bloodyF1 because it sends a wrong msg that everything is OK in Bahrain while the people suffer on a daily basis

@MohmdAshoor: #BloodyF1 may annoy you, but does it annoy you more than the 83 who lost their lives?

Anti-Formula1 signs tweeted by activist @SAIDYOUSIF

Protester in Sitra wearing a shirt against the formula 1 race (tweeted by @SAIDYOUSIF)

Other netizens tried to show how horrifying the situation in Bahrain is:

"‏@Mothame: See how riot police treating our sisters, this is only in"

Others tweeted pictures of tear gas attacks, which have became part of everyday life for Bahrainis.

"@Peacelooving: Bahrain: Flood the villages with poison gas"

"@Alaswad87: Govt of bahrain is killing us by using toxic gases.. Bahrain not ready for #F1"

And for two minutes only, the hash tag was able to make it to the top trending stories on Twitter:

"‏@Anarchist74: #BloodyF1 is officially trending"

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