Saudis Pressurized Twitter to Suspend Al Jazeera Arabic Account
Islam Times - Al Jazeera Arabic Twitter account was briefly suspended with sources saying the Saudi regime was behind the move.
The Qatari owned Al Jazeera which is based on Doha said Saturday's suspension appeared to be caused by an "organized campaign".
The account went offline at around 10am local time (07:00 GMT) and was restored within a few hours.
Engineers at Al Jazeera Arabic who were in communication with Twitter said there was a "storm attack" of mass reports of the account to Twitter, which forced the algorithm to temporarily suspend the account. Twitter did not immediately respond to request for comment.
According to Twitter's website, accounts are suspended due to "spam", if an account's "security is at risk" or if an account is reported as "violating [Twitter's] rules surrounding abuse".
The development come after Saudi Arabia led some countries including the UAE and Egypt in cutting ties with Qatar.
Meanwhile, sources say the suspension of the Al Jazeera account was done at the behest of the Saudi regime as one of the Al Saud clan princes owns massive shares in Twitter.
In October 2015, Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, doubled his investment in Twitter and reportedly holds 30,100,000 shares of the company. Meanwhile, the Kingdom Holding Company, his investment company of which he's the chairman, holds 4,850,000 Twitter shares. Combined, this adds up to over 5% of the social media site's stock and a market value of $1 billion. He and his company originally invested $300 million in Twitter back in 2011 before it went public in 2013.
The Saudi investment in Twitter sparked concern that the regime in Riyadh intends to use its stake in the social media network to front its policies across the region while suppressing dissent at home.
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