Arab News: Archive departments are too often neglected, says director of Saudi historical materials conservation center

Arab News: Archive departments are too often neglected, says director of Saudi historical materials conservation center. “Historical documents at risk of neglect are being restored with the help of the King Salman bin Abdul Aziz Center for Historical Materials Conservation, with many government and private entities seeking the center’s assistance. In an exclusive interview with Arab News, the director of the center, Abdulrahman Al-Baiz, described how archive departments at many governmental and private entities are neglected.”

Stanford Internet Observatory: Analyzing a Twitter Takedown Originating in Saudia Arabia

Stanford Internet Observatory: Analyzing a Twitter Takedown Originating in Saudia Arabia. “On December 20, 2019 Twitter announced the removal of 88,000 accounts managed by Smaat, a digital marketing company based in Saudi Arabia, and attributed thousands of these accounts to involvement in ‘a significant state-backed information operation’. On December 17 Twitter shared with the Stanford Internet Observatory 32,054,257 tweets from 5,929 randomly sampled accounts. In this report we provide a first analysis of the data.”

Military .com: Pentagon Announces Plans to Monitor Foreign Trainees’ Social Media Posts

Military .com: Pentagon Announces Plans to Monitor Foreign Trainees’ Social Media Posts. “The Pentagon has completed re-screening all Saudi students in U.S. military training programs following a deadly Dec. 6 shooting rampage at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Defense Department officials announced Thursday. No indications of additional threats have surfaced, they said. Moving forward, DoD plans to increase vetting practices for Saudi Arabian and other foreign nationals in training at military bases in the U.S., including checks of their social media posts.”

New York Times: Why Spy on Twitter? For Saudi Arabia, It’s the Town Square

New York Times: Why Spy on Twitter? For Saudi Arabia, It’s the Town Square. “Saudi Arabia provides no public spaces where citizens can gather to discuss news and politics. And the kingdom’s news media are state-owned or controlled, limiting the range of perspectives they carry. But many Saudi citizens have multiple cellphones and fast internet, which have led them to use Twitter to engage both with the world and with their fellow citizens. That has given the kingdom one of the world’s largest Twitterspheres.”

Quartz: This Saudi prince now owns more of Twitter than Jack Dorsey does

Quartz: This Saudi prince now owns more of Twitter than Jack Dorsey does. “A Saudi prince has increased his holdings in Twitter, making him the company’s second largest shareholder. Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Alsaud, who in 2011 invested $300 million in the social network, now owns 34.9 million shares of Twitter’s common stock, according to a new regulatory filing (pdf).” That’s almost 5.2% of the company. Dorsey owns 3.2% of the company. Ev Williams owns more than either of them.

Arab News: Ministry of Culture launches first national competition to document Saudi industrial heritage

Arab News: Ministry of Culture launches first national competition to document Saudi industrial heritage. “The Ministry of Culture launched the first day of the national competition to document the Kingdom’s industrial heritage on Sunday July 14. The competition aims to establish the first national database for all industrial sites that fall under this category, with the participation of Saudis and residents from all social segments.”

Slate: Saudis Fed Up With Twitter “Censorship” Jump Ship to a Pro-Trump Social Media Site

Slate: Saudis Fed Up With Twitter “Censorship” Jump Ship to a Pro-Trump Social Media Site. “Disdain for Twitter’s policies has spread to the Arabian Peninsula, where nearly 200,000 new users—largely from Saudi Arabia—flocked to a pro-Trump social media network called Parler. The users who left Twitter complained the site was suppressing their speech. The new Saudi users actually used Twitter to promote their migration to the new platform, posting hashtags like #Twexit and sharing cartoons and memes of the iconic blue Twitter bird in distress.”

Zawya: Google Assistant launches in Arabic in Saudi Arabia

Zawya: Google Assistant launches in Arabic in Saudi Arabia. “Google has announced recently that the Google Assistant, a virtual assistant available on mobile devices designed to help people get more things done with their phone, has launched in Saudi Arabia on both Android and iOS devices and can understand the Saudi dialect and answering in standard Arabic.”

Ars Technica: Twitter shuts down 5,000 pro-Trump bots retweeting anti-Mueller report invective

Ars Technica: Twitter shuts down 5,000 pro-Trump bots retweeting anti-Mueller report invective. “Twitter has suspended over 5,000 accounts tied to a network amplifying a message denouncing the report by Special Counsel Robert Mueller as a ‘RussiaGate hoax.’ According to a researcher, the accounts—most of which had only posted three or four times in the past—were connected to other accounts previously used to post pro-Saudi messages.”

The Quint: Google Won’t Pull App That Lets Men Track and Control Women

The Quint: Google Won’t Pull App That Lets Men Track and Control Women. “Google has declined to remove controversial Saudi Arabia app Absher from its Play Store, Business Insider reported. The all-purpose government app also offers features that lets men track and control the movement of women. Google declined the removal of the app saying that it does not violate any of its agreements and hence, continues to stay on Google Play Store.”

Gulf Today: Plans for ‘Arab Digital Union’ announced

Gulf Today: Plans for ‘Arab Digital Union’ announced. “‘The Arab Digital Union is a dream that has long been in the making,’ said Dr Tarek Shawky. ‘It will offer a platform aggregating content from three Arab countries and forming the basis for a prominent pan-Arab content bank – a larger version of our Egyptian Knowledge Bank – disseminating knowledge to all Arabs.’ The Egyptian Knowledge Bank is one of the largest national education projects in Egypt. It houses the largest digital library and online knowledge hub, providing access to free education and scientific publications, in addition to contributing to the production and dissemination of knowledge to Egyptian universities, institutes, and research centres.”