Twitter Gives Saudi Arabia a Revolution of Its Own

From The Times of India:

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia did not have an Arab Spring. But it has had a revolution of sorts.

Open criticism of this country’s royal family, once unheard-of, has become commonplace in recent months. Prominent judges and lawyers issue fierce public broadsides about large-scale government corruption and social neglect. Women deride the clerics who limit their freedoms. Even the king has come under attack.

All this dissent is taking place on Twitter. Unlike other media, Twitter has allowed Saudis to cross social boundaries and address delicate subjects via Twitter hashtags like ‘Saudi Corruption’ and ‘Political Prisoners’.

With so many people writing mostly under their real names — there are some 2.9 million users in the kingdom, according to one recent study — the authorities appear to have thrown their hands up.

“Twitter for us is like a parliament, but not the kind of parliament that exists in this region,” said Faisal Abdullah, a 31-year-old lawyer. “It’s a true parliament, where people from all political sides speak freely.”

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