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Bahrain: Prominent Pro-Government Twitter Accounts Stop

This post is part of our special coverage of Bahrain Protests 2011/12.

Bahrain’s local twittersphere is experiencing the sudden disappearance of two of the most prominent anonymous pro-government Twitter accounts that were extremely active during the unrest of last year.

@7areghum and @alfarooo8 haven’t tweeted in little over two weeks; in their last tweets both have said that they will be taking some time off and hopefully return “soon”.

Hashtags of #وين_الفاروق  (Where is @alfarooo8) and #وين_حارقهم (Where is @7areghum) went viral after the Islamist former-MP Sheikh Mohammed Khalid (an outspoken critic of the Bahraini opposition) tweeted hinting that the stoppage of both accounts has to do with instructions from groups he did not name [ar]:

#وين_الفاروق ؟ وبدأت تأكل عيالها!! ستسمعون عن عدد ممن يكتبون بالتويتر(من السُنة) سيقولون سنأخذ راحة!! #البحرين #bahrain #ksa #q8
@boammar: Where is Alfarooq? It has turned against its own children!!! You will hear from a lot who write on Twitter (from among the Sunnis) who will say that they are taking a break!!

Both of the accounts are highly controversial. Many have attributed them to the local authorities and intelligence agency. They rose to fame during the “National Safety Law” following the events of 2011 and were known to post the photographs of protesters asking their Twitter followers to identify them, and at times post their addresses, phone numbers and current locations.

Witnesses have reported to the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry that persons who had been named by @7areghum at the time would avoid sleeping at their homes for fear of attacks or arbitrary arrests. (Full Report)

@7areghum’s account was suspended by Twitter for unknown reasons after Simeon Kerr of the Financial Times mentioned him in a news article; the account soon came back and gathered an even larger follower base since.

There have been numerous accounts on why both accounts have suddenly stopped after all this time, most of which allege that both individuals behind them were identified and asked to stop by their employers, who happen to be local ministries in Bahrain.

QahrhoumBh explains [ar]:

الفاروق لم يأخذ استراحة .. ! بعد قصة الكنسية و تحرك الفاروق ضدها تم استدعاء ألفاروق بما انه يعمل في أحد وزارات الدولة و قد خير بين ( لقمة عيشه – وظيفته – ) و بين عمله و تغيرده في تؤيتر و البلاك بيري .. !

و كذلك حارقهم الذي ذكره بسيوني في تقريره بأنه يقوم بنشر بيانات المناهضين للنظام .. يعمل في أحد وزارات الدولة .. تم قطع معاشه ، و أيضا تم تخييره بين ( لقمة عيشه – وظيفته – ) و بين عمله و تغيرده في تؤيتر.. !

@QahrhoumBh: Al Farooq did not take a break! After the church story and Al Farooq's movement against it, he was summoned at work as he works in a government ministry and asked to choose between his job and his work on Twitter and Blackberry.Also, 7areghoum, who was mentioned in Bassioni's report, as the one who published information on those who are against the regime, works in a government ministry. His salary was cut and he was also made to choose between his livelihood and his work and tweeting

This post is part of our special coverage of Bahrain Protests 2011/12.

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