A screen shot of the hashtags trending in the Gulf region
CAIRO - 14 September 2017: Three hashtags that support Saudi Arabia and the royal family are trending in the kingdom Wednesday, while an anti-Saudi hashtag has been hijacked by backers of the gulf state rulers.
It all began on Tuesday when Ali Al Ahmed, a Saudi who heads the Washington-based Institute for Gulf Affairs, tweeted the hashtag #حراك_15_سبتمبر, which translates into “the mobility of Sept. 15,” originally aiming to stir anti-Saudi government tweets. It was retweeted 85 times only.
However, Saudi preacher Mohamed Al Arefe used the hashtag to create pro-government tweets, and it was retweeted more than 9,000 times.
As of writing this story, the hashtag was used around 335,000 times. Another hashtag, #عقب_صبي_ماوقف_مع_دولته, has been trending in all Gulf states for hours to criticize Al Ahmed for going against the Saudi state.
Meanwhile, #قسما_بالله_ما_اخونك_ياوطن (I swear I will not betray my homeland), and #كلنا_سلمان_وكلنا_محمد (we are all Salman and Mohamed, referring to the Saudi king and his defense minister son) went viral worldwide and in the top trending tweets through Wednesday. More pro-Saudi hashtags were also created and were in the top trends for hours.