Doha – Ahmed Youssef:
Without introductions, and on the night of Sunday May 5, the allegations of a coup in Qatar accompanied by allegations of explosions were heard in Al-Wakra region on the south-eastern coast of the country.
These allegations were promoted through the symbols of “Coup_ in_Qatar”, “Al-Wakra” and “Coup_Qatar”, and thousands of tweets attacking Qatar were written with her, citing these allegations.
From the first moment, it became clear that the Saudi and Emirati electronic flies were behind these allegations, especially that these flies have been the same to fabricate similar events in a number of countries.
And coincided with those labels that topped the trend list in “Twitter” in Saudi Arabia, a fake tweet attributed to the former Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim Al Thani said: “Even if a coup occurs, as the flies of some of the blockade countries claim, this is an internal matter. My brother Tamim and I may not agree on some internal files, and he may win, sometimes I win, but in the end, we are one family united from the smallest individual to the largest individual, and the ruling remains in the hands of the most worthy. ”
It was very clear that the battle of the Wasom had been prepared in advance in the dark rooms by electronic flies, as the campaign claimed that Qatar witnessed heavy fire during an alleged “attempted coup”, carried out by Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim, to topple Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad, and seize power .
While it was observed that the electronic flies campaign coincided with the third anniversary of the blockade that Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain imposed on Qatar for allegedly supporting terrorism on the night of Ramadan 10, 1438, corresponding to June 5, 2017, and the campaign appeared to have been in response to a tag titled “# Night_Block_Qatar” issued The list of most heavily traded on Twitter the day before the launch of the campaign against Doha.
The data showed that the largest percentage of tweets in the three tags came from Saudi Arabia and a few percentages from countries such as Egypt and the UAE and from Qatar as well as a country that was attacked.
It was found that 72% of the tweets on the # Qatar coup label were from Saudi Arabia, 8% from Egypt, 4% from Qatar and the rest from other countries.
While the # Al-Wakra branding, 68.2% of the tweets came from Saudi Arabia, 4% from the UAE, and the rest from other countries.
While the marking of the coup in Qatar came to 66% of the tweeters from Saudi Arabia, and the rest from other countries.
** Names led the campaign
The data also showed that a number of well-known Saudi names were the first to tweeted via these tags, in addition to hundreds of other accounts bearing borrowed names with pictures of the Saudi monarch, King Salman bin Abdulaziz and his crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman.
Among the most prominent names and accounts that led the campaign on Twitter and were among the first tweet accounts on the allegations of the Qatar coup allegations:
Munther Al-Sheikh Mubarak is one of the most prominent leaders of electronic flies.
– Abdul Latif bin Abdullah Al Sheikh, a Saudi poet and one of the leaders of electronic flies.
Salman Al-Ansari, head of the American-Saudi Public Relations Committee, “Sabrac”.
Khaled Al-Matrafi, former director of Saudi Arabia’s channel.
– Abdullah Al Bander, a Saudi journalist working for the Sky News Arabic channel.
Two members, Al-Ahmari, Saudi journalist, Independent Editor of Arabia.
– Imad Al-Mudayfar, a Saudi journalist from Al-Zabab, on Twitter.
– Abdul Latif Al Sheikh, a Saudi blogger, is one of the leaders of the flies.
Meshal Al-Khaldi is a Saudi blogger.
– News summary, which is a Saudi news account of flies leaders.
Bin Owaid is one of the most prominent leaders of the flies.
Opposition country accounts also participated in the campaign, most notably:
Fahad bin Abdullah Al Thani, a Qatari dissident loyal to Riyadh and Abu Dhabi
Khaled Al-Hail, a Qatari exhibition loyal to Riyadh and Abu Dhabi.
** Fabricated content
Regarding the content promoted by flies accounts in her campaign, it revolved around alleged videos in the Qatari city of Al-Wakra, in addition to old clips, such as the attack on the “Peace Palace” in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, in October 2017.
Through modern programming techniques and artificial intelligence that allows tracking and examining the content published online, it was revealed that “the clips that were circulated as evidence of the alleged coup were raised on YouTube since April 2017 under the title“ I hear the sounds of gunfire ”, without mentioning a specific location of the shooting .
In addition to another clip that was circulated in August 2015, an explosion occurred in the Chinese city of Tianjin, and a fourth clip did not show any gunfire, but it was modified and the sound of a shot was fired.
** Newspapers and websites reported the coup allegations
Among the most prominent newspapers and news sites that published the allegations of the coup in Qatar, the site of the American “Al-Hurra” channel, the sites of “The Seventh Day” and “Akhbar Al-Youm” Egyptians, the Egyptian site “Echo”, and the Arab “CNN”, and the “Al-Ain” Emirati.
** Why did the flies campaign?
Saudi disinformation campaigns are primarily intended for local consumption. In the Kingdom, Twitter is the most used social media site, and government-run disinformation networks use conspiracy theories and false news to rally the Saudi public about its leadership.
In addition to the fact that the political, social and economic conditions in the Kingdom are grim, with severe pressures amid a global economic downturn, an unprecedented contraction in the oil market, and millions of citizens suffer from the closure in the month of Ramadan.
Moreover, the Saudi government is desperately seeking a strategy to get out of the costly war in Yemen, and partisan pressures in Washington are mounting on the Saudi leadership, amid serious repercussions of the oil price war caused by Muhammad bin Salman.
Consequently, according to followers of the Saudi issue, the recent campaign came in this framework, it coincided with several prominent events, the Saudi government wanted to distract the people, and divert their attention away from them, including synchronization with the third anniversary of the siege of Qatar, which failed miserably, and Riyadh’s adoption of a harsh austerity plan During which spending was greatly reduced.
In addition to the Saudi government allowing the private sector to reduce the salaries of its employees by up to 40% and the continuing repercussions of dumping oil markets, falling prices to record levels and human rights organizations shed light once again on the violations of the Saudi government, since the death of prominent reformist academic Abdullah Al Hamid in its prisons.
** Country responses
“Twitter” witnessed the night of the publication of the intensive responses in Qatar, commenting on the rumors that were covered by electronic flies.
Qataris considered these rumors merely as “aspirations” and an attempt by the Saudi regime to confront its internal crises.
Qatar has worked since the first days of the Gulf crisis in 2017, to avoid the repercussions of the boycott and the imposition of a land blockade through the only outlet with Saudi Arabia, and bypassing all this by relying on itself and facing economic challenges first.
The data indicate that Qatar succeeded, after less than 3 years since the Quaternary boycott, in achieving self-sufficiency in providing its food needs by more than 80 percent.