A survey result raised our eyebrows this Saturday morning: Saudi Arabia apparently leads the world with 51% of its population being active Twitter users. The Riyadh Bureau blog notes that this is causing headaches for the Saudi government, who are finding censoring the flow of information too difficult. Saudi Arabia’s Grand Mufti, who last year issued a fatwa calling for the demolition of all churches on the Arabian peninsula, is none too pleased:
The daily al-Watan quoted Sheikh Abdulaziz Al Alsheikh as saying, “Twitter has become a gathering place for every clown and corrupter who post tweets that are illegitimate, false and wrong.”The Grand Mufti has become increasingly critical of Twitter users recently. In January 2012 he said the social network “has become a platform for trading accusations and for promoting lies used by some just for the sake of fame.” Then in October he called people who use the site “fools” and accused them of lacking modesty and faith.
Heaven forbid that men and women might actually @message each other in the Twitterverse! What is this world coming to?Easy pot-shots aside, it would be interesting to see just how Saudi Arabia’s Internet censorship regime differs from China’s and Iran’s. China’s Great Firewall is on the verge of being upgraded to a next-generation system and Iran’s ‘halal’ Internet is also almost ready. Saudi Arabia’s population is 35% that of Iran, and less than 2% that of China. The Saudis certainly have the funds to do whatever they want, and are hardly shrinking violets when it comes to enforcing rigid moral codes. Do any VM readers have any insights? Drop us a line.[Photo courtesy of Getty Images.]