Saudi Employee At Twitter Suspected Of Spying
Credit: Breaking News
October 21, 2018

What happens when the public square is actually privately owned by libertarians bros?

What happens when our technological advances to democratize discourse outstrip our ability to anticipate its use to undermine democracy?

This happens:

Saudi Arabia is suspected of having groomed a Saudi employee at Twitter to help the country's leadership by spying on the accounts of dissidents, according to a new report.

The New York Times reported Saturday that Western officials told Twitter in 2015 that one of their employees, Ali Alzabarah, was being groomed to spy on the accounts.


The Times reported that the alleged efforts appeared to be part of a larger push by the Saudi royal family to use hundreds of people to flood social media with pro-Saudi messaging and smother the voices of dissenters.

Murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi had been actively looking at these social media accounts harassing dissidents and flooding the Twitterverse with pro-Saudi messages at the time of his death.

And to be clear, it's far from only the Saudis. We know that the Russians do the same as did Iran during the Green Revolution.

But it raises a larger question: is it possible to protect the democratization of discourse through social media or is it time to bring down the hammer of heavy regulations? The unintended consequences of either choices could kill democratic movements.

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