Month: March 2013

The Weekly Top 5 March 17-21, 2013

March 24, 2013

The Weekly Top 5 report highlights the top five subjects from five different discussion categories that generated the largest volume of discussion across Arabic language social media platforms on a weekly basis. The report is derived from crawling the web and indexing hundreds of thousands of Arabic-language, user-generated results on a daily basis. A more thorough explanation of our methodology follows the report. The Weekly Top 5 represents data collected throughout the Sunday-Thursday work week in the Arab world.

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Politics returned to the forefront of this week’s top five, as the buzz surrounding Saudi preacher Salman al-Odah’s calls for political change in the Kingdom reached a whopping 53,368 comments. In a series of 64 tweets, the prominent preacher and Islamic Scholar called for political change in Saudi Arabia, focusing his discussion on political prisoners and the power of the media while warning authorities not to deny Saudis their rights.

While some users supported al-Odah’s calls for reform, others asked him to study thoroughly the problems he mentioned before suggesting solutions. Khaled Addoweesh tweeted: “His initiatives deserve to be scrutinized.”

On the other hand, some users categorically rejected al-Odah’s calls for reforms and accused him of being an agent of foreign regimes that seek to incite people against the Saudi rulers. User Ati al-Mediany wrote: “So now this salacious, licentious, hypocrite who calls for foreign intervention in our country has come to represent us.”

In the art and entertainment world, the second season of the Arab Idol talent competition once again stole the number one spot with 15,551 comments.  Arab users reacted positively to the second episode of the season and were particularly pleased with the second season’s new judge, Lebanese singer Nancy Ajram. Users admired Ajram’s beauty and delicacy, while UAE singer and judge Ahlam was admired for her laughter. User Ahmad Jarad Al-Shikhli commented: “Nancy is the sweetest flower!”

On another note, users commented on the contestants, particularly praising the Iraqi talents and commending the show for holding auditions in the Iraqi city of Irbil. Some, however, suggested that upcoming auditions be held in less privileged Arab countries like Sudan. User Bhram commented: “Iraq is the hub of talented singers with outstanding vocals, better than the rest of the Arab World and North Africa.”

Some contestants’ funny auditions also created a lot of buzz, particularly that of Libyan contestant Radhi Azzab, who was favored by most Arabs yet slammed by Libyan nationals. User ÃĦmãd Ḟǿũãd said: “You make us Libyans look bad. You’ve shamed us.” Users also mocked a Tunisian contestant who performed a song in poor English.

Meanwhile, in the media category, users discussed a different type of show; the third episode of the second season of Saudi satirical show “Yatbaoun” (They Print). The episode, which was aired on the Sahi YouTube Channel and hosted by Hadi al-Sheibani, garnered 8,125 comments. Al-Sheibani criticized the rising unemployment rates, the housing crisis, as well as African infiltrators into the Kingdom.

Though sentiment towards al-Sheibani was generally positive, a number of users criticized the show’s host, commenting that his over-acting was killing all the jokes. Some even went as far as to ask for al-Shebani’s replacement with another host. User Calm and Tornados wrote: “The show’s production is perfect, but it needs someone better than that wretched Shebani.”

Nevertheless, the larger proportion of users lauded al-Shebani’s criticism of social problems in the Kingdom, some lamenting the fact that Saudi Arabia is the world’s top oil exporter, yet its people still struggle with unemployment and corruption. Tweep Khalid Saleh said: “I hate that I am Saudi. If I lived in a poor country, we’d accept this!!! But not in a rich, oil-producing country.”

The society category this week was topped by Algerian infuriation with a rising number of child abductions. Residents of the Algerian city of Constantine—the site of a recent case of child abduction—held rallies to protest the rising rate of child abduction in the country, generating a buzz of 7,345 comments.

After the rallies turned into violent clashes between protesters and security forces, user sentiments towards the Algerian regime were generally negative. Some users commented that people were growing impatient with both the Algerian police and the regime on the whole, urging the Algerian government to act with transparency, honesty and respect for the public. User Algerian said: “We’ve had enough. You either be more transparent, or you let the people take control.”

Others called on the government to apply the penal code and execute all those proven to have been involved in such crimes. User belwazdad20 wrote: “A Killer must be killed – A Killer must be killed  – A Killer must be killed  – A Killer must be killed. Vengeance – Vengeance  – This is the solution.”

The residents of Constantine also received praise for taking action and users encouraged all Algerians to do the same to put an end to child abduction.

Finally, there was only one topic this week in the religion category, garnering a total of 1,894 comments. Tunisian thinker Mohamed Talbi’s controversial statements about God and religion during a TV interview generated the most buzz in this category. Talbi had commented that he does not believe in the torture of the grave, a deeply-rooted Islamic concept, and that he does not fear God, but still loves Him.

In spite of the controversy, sentiment towards Talbi was on the whole positive, as many users commented that they love and respect his free thinking. These users also supported his views of Islam, which reflected the faith’s emphasis on love, mercy and tolerance rather than excommunication, terrorism and extremism. User Dev Mabrouk wrote: “Islam is a religion of morals above all… May God bless you, Dr. Mohamed Talbi.”

On the other hand, a number of users lashed out at Talbi and accused him of senility and divagation. Some recalled the thinker’s earlier writings, in which he reportedly insulted Aisha, the wife of the Prophet Mohammad, and said that liquor was not forbidden by Islamic law. User Mohamed Rahali Mohamed said: “Poor man who doesn’t know the truth at this age. He will learn it soon.”

Others criticized pro-Ennahda Facebook pages, which took Talbi’s statements out of context by removing the parts in which he said he loves God, for example. User Blabzy warned that these pages were a source of sedition in Tunisia: “You miswrote the title of this article. I do not agree with Talbi, but he didn’t mock torture of the grave… sedition is tougher than murder, people!”

Methodology

These results above are extracted from thousands of social media sources such as blogs, microblogs, forums, message boards, readers’ comment sections on news websites, etc, which are continually updated. A team of Arabic social media researchers and Arabic social media analysts use Arabic Natural Language Processing and data mining tools to analyze the data and to extract the list of top five subjects, based primarily on keyword repetition.

The Weekly Top 5 displays results of the common Sunday-Thursday work week in the Arab world, and is solely focused on Arabic language user-generated results, classified by volume of comments/discussion.

Data is captured primarily from 17 Arab countries in North Africa, the Levant, and the Arab Gulf region, and when relevant, the five other Arabic speaking countries belonging to the Arab League (Sudan, Somalia, Comoros, Djibouti and Mauritania).

 

 

The Weekly Top 5 March 10-14, 2013

March 15, 2013

The Weekly Top 5 report highlights the top five subjects from five different discussion categories that generated the largest volume of discussion across Arabic language social media platforms on a weekly basis. The report is derived from crawling the web and indexing hundreds of thousands of Arabic-language, user-generated results on a daily basis. A more thorough explanation of our methodology follows the report. The Weekly Top 5 represents data collected throughout the Sunday-Thursday work week in the Arab world.

The European football Champions League once again stole the top spot in this week’s Top 5, as FC Barcelona’s 4-0 win against AC Milan generated a buzz of 23,636 comments.  Barcelona fans in the Arab World were overjoyed by the AC Milan knock-out and their favorite team’s entry into the quarter-finals.

Users commended Barcelona’s performance and praised their striker, Lionel Messi, whom they described as a “football legend.” User Elhabak wrote: “How wonderful you are, you magical Argentine (Messi).” Some also remarked that AC Milan played poorly and deserved to lose. Use Ahmed said:

“Barca didn’t just teach AC Milan a lesson, but they taught them how to play football, not play with 11 goalkeepers.”

Meanwhile, Barcelona fans also exchanged profanities with fans of archrival Real Madrid, who had supported AC Milan against Barca. User Ashraf Alhmede wrote: “Don’t be that happy, Real Madrid will crush you in the coming days.”

In the politics category, an Egyptian court upheld 21 death sentences against the Port Said football rioters generated 22,180 comments. Though Al-Ahly Club Ultras fans were satisfied with the death  sentences, they rejected the acquittal of seven interior ministry officials accused of involvement in the riots that killed 72 spectators after a football match in the city of Port Said last year. The Ultras fans threatened chaos unless their demands for a retrial were met.

Egyptian opposition figure Mohamed ElBaradei urged the court to release the written judgment of the verdicts.  He tweeted: “We are waiting for the written judgment of the verdict to catch the “mind” of the Port Said massacre to understand what is going on in Egypt. I hope it is not the boogey man who has been haunting us for 2 years.”

Users slammed the Ultras fans as rioters, especially after photos of the theft of football cups and medallions from the Egyptian Football Association headquarters went viral on SM networks.  User The Egyptian Police said: “Who will defend the Ultras Ahlawy… they are stealing the Football Association.”

While some urged the Ultras to respect the court’s verdict, others accused them of ties with the ruling Muslim Brotherhood, whom they believed had incited them to break down the police corps to give way to Muslim Brotherhood militias to deploy. Some Islamist users called on President Mohamed Morsi to strike rioters and saboteurs with an iron fist. Adel al-Johary wrote: “Now Ultras will become a burden on Ahly fans and Al Ahly club. They are committing national security crimes, the deserve the toughest punishment…”

The society category was topped by news of the death of 51 people in Libya due to poisonous liquor. The buzz around the liquor, which had been mixed with methanol, generated 9,951 comments.

Some users criticized the victims of the poisonous liquor for drinking in the first place, some arguing that God had let them die while committing a sin after giving them a chance to repent. Others, User Free Whisper wrote: “May God grant us a good ending. How will they meet our God when they were drunk? God let them die drunk because He knows they wouldn’t repent. May God lead the drunken and addicted to the right path.”

Others, however, asked God to forgive and have mercy on them and to grant their families solace. User Warfali commented: “To God we return. May God grant their families with patience and solace. But whoever poisoned liquor could easily poison potable water in any Libyan city. I don’t think that the criminal is Libyan or even an extremist Islamist.”

Like Warfali, many users had concerns that if people were able to poison liquor, they may soon poison food and drink.  Some also lashed out at the Health Ministry, saying that many of the victims died due to a shortage of supplies and professional caliber in Libyan hospitals and said the Ministry should have held a press conference to explain the details of the accident.

Meanwhile, Arab users tuned in to the premiere of the second season of Arab Idol on MBC network.  The show generated 9,076 comments in the Art category. The majority of users commended the talented participants on the Arabic version of the American reality show American Idol, commenting and tweeting on SM networks as they watched the show.

There was a general approval of and support for the Syrian contestants as well as prayers for the Syrian rebels fighting against President Bashar Al-Assad and his troops. However, many expected the winner to be an Egyptian national, as many of the Egyptian contestants were admired during the auditions.  User Ahmed Meseed said: “Egypt will have the lion’s share in the end, because Egypt has the most beautiful voices…”

Users also generally approved of the judges, particularly Lebanese singers Ragheb Alama and Nancy Ajram. However, some attacked UAE singer Ahlam for contesting the decisions of the other judges and expressed their annoyance at what they considered favoritism of some contestants over others. User Silence of the Grave said: “I feel that Ahlam’s decisions are against the judges not the contestant.”

This week also featured one topic in the rare economy category, generating 2,092 comments. Egyptian users discussed allegations that telecommunications and construction giant Orascom had evaded 14.4 billion Egyptian pounds’ worth of taxes. Many accused the Muslim Brotherhood of intentionally targeting the Coptic Sawiris family, which owns Orascom, and of trying to undermine successful businessmen and investors to make way for Brotherhood businessmen. User Samuel Adel wrote: “Morsi’s dogs are hungry, so they thought of teasing Christians. Why Sawiris? Where are [Khairat] el-Shater and the other businessmen who evade taxes?”

On the other hand, some said the matter should be investigated before Egyptian tycoon Naguib Sawiris’ “innocence” was declared. Still others attacked Sawiris and accused him of stealing Egypt’s money, investing in Israel, supporting Christian missionaries in Egypt and inciting his employees to protest in his support. User Alaa Sheikh criticized those whom he believed were defending Sawiris simply because of their opposition to the Brotherhood : “Do we agree to let Sawiris steal from the people because he is against the MB?”

Methodology

These results above are extracted from thousands of social media sources such as blogs, microblogs, forums, message boards, readers’ comment sections on news websites, etc, which are continually updated. A team of Arabic social media researchers and Arabic social media analysts use Arabic Natural Language Processing and data mining tools to analyze the data and to extract the list of top five subjects, based primarily on keyword repetition.

The Weekly Top 5 displays results of the common Sunday-Thursday work week in the Arab world, and is solely focused on Arabic language user-generated results, classified by volume of comments/discussion.

Data is captured primarily from 17 Arab countries in North Africa, the Levant, and the Arab Gulf region, and when relevant, the five other Arabic speaking countries belonging to the Arab League (Sudan, Somalia, Comoros, Djibouti and Mauritania).

Zero Dark Thirty: The Middle East Perspective

March 4, 2013

Arab social media users pan Zero Dark Thirty

Arab social media users have been generally uninterested and unmoved by the controversial American film Zero Dark Thirty, a film that portrays the US’ use of torture in the prosecution of the war on terror.ZDT Picture

Zero Dark Thirty, about the manhunt of al-Qaeda’s Osama Bin Laden, caused an uproar in the US as it was released in cinemas throughout the country December and January. The work was much discussed on American social media platforms, which we monitored from

December 19, 2012-January 19, 2013. During that period, we captured 370,000 user comments (from English-speaking, US-based users) on the film, mainly grappling with the portrayal of torture as an apparently effective technique in the global campaign against terrorism. (See our January 22 Buzz Report.) Since then, Zero Dark Thirty was nominated for several Academy Awards and has been released in theaters throughout the Arab region – a region that has largely been on the receiving end of American policy in the war on terror since 2001. But Arab social media user interest in the film – which we monitored from December 19, 2012 to February 26, 2013, has been extremely modest by comparison, attracting only 2000 user comments.

Our analysis of user sentiment found that Arab and American social media users criticized and praised the film in almost similar proportions: in our monitoring of Arab social media user sentiment, almost 49% viewed the film negatively, while 41% praised it greatly; The remaining 10% were posts and retweets on news of the film – box office performance, award nominations, and Arabic translations of English reviews on the film by prominent US critics. Among American social media users, more than 50% were critical of the film, less than 40% praised it and roughly 10% of users analyzed reported news of the film – such as news of Oscar nominations and articles and/or reviews of the film, without expressing a personal opinion.

US-Arab user sentiment towards ZDTThe content of user discussions, however, was strikingly different. Among Arab users, the main discussions focused on what users regarded as US administration/CIA propaganda and the defemation of Arab/Muslim countries (58%). Users also discussed technical aspects of the film, such as whether the film’s craft was worthy of the international buzz it has received (23%). Finally, users dished on the film’s several Oscar nominations (winning only Best Achievement in Sound Editing) (17%). The propagandistic aspect of the film was much less of a concern among American users (constituting only 3% of discussions). American users tended to be predominantly focused on the film’s depictions of torture and its utility as an information-gathering tactic (65% of total volume). Arab users did discuss the portrayal of torture, but gave more importance to discussing the status of Bin Laden, debating whether he should be described as a hero or a terrorist. US users never questioned if Bin Laden was a terrorist. No positive sentiment towards him was recorded from US user comments. American users also focused on what they believed were historical inaccuracies in the film, and conversations eventually turned to other aspects of the war on terror, such as the use of drone strikes. Content in the film that was experienced by Arab users as defamation of Arabs/Muslims was perceived by American as Islamaphopia, but discussions of this constituted a much smaller portion (1%) of all discussions among American users.

The chart below depicts the difference between the US and Arab user discussion trends. Note that US users discussed the Golden Globe awards and the Oscar nominations, but didn’t focus much on them, since the monitoring of US users ended on January 19, more than a month ahead of the Oscars.

US-Arab user trend analysisIn addition to the discussions monitored, we further captured approximately 240 posts on forums with links to download the film with Arabic subtitles.

ZDT trend analysis

Zero Dark Thirty – US propaganda (39%)

Although a majority of users denounced the film (53%) as a “lie” aimed at “polishing US policies and military”, a relatively large proportion (46%) praised the film as critical and “exposing” of the American CIA’s “enhanced interrogation” policies in the war on terror.

US propagandaZero Dark Thirty – Film Quality (23%)

Forum users (like startimes.com) and bloggers delivered their own critiques on the film. Almost 47% of them praised its quality and craftsmanship without regard to any political statements being made by the film. Some 53% criticized the film as “boring”, unintentionally “funny” and “too long”.

film quality

Zero Dark Thirty – Depiction of Muslims (19%)

Users particularly attacked the film for its depiction of Muslims, noting that scenes depicting terrorists were accompanied by the sound of the adhan (the Muslim call for prayer). Users also noticed that the film refers to mosques as the hub of terrorists’ plotting and scheming and frequently referred to the film as “racist”. Many of them share Pakistani users’ observation that the film portrayed Pakistani characters speaking Arabic, when in fact Pakistanis speak Urdu. Saudi users specifically took umbrage at the film’s reference to them as terrorists, while Kuwaiti users were infuriated by the depiction of nighclubs in the emirate (which users assert do not exist). The latter group referred to a scene in which a CIA agent bribes a Kuwaiti national (and frequent nightclub patron) for information with a Lamborghini.

racist film

Zero Dark Thirty – Awards Season (16%)

Zero Dark Thirty was nominated for four Golden Globe Awards for Best Motion Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay and Best Actress, which Jessica Chastain won on Jan 13, 2013. The film was also nominated for five Academy Awards (the Oscars) for Best Picture, Best Leading Actress, Best Original Screenplay, Best Film Editing, and Best Sound Editing. Zero Dark Thirty won in the latter category, tying with the 2012 James Bond Movie Skyfall. The film continued to be nominated for more 120 awards, and has so far won 60.

Ahead of the Oscars on February 24, 2013, users discussed whether the film would win the Best Film category, especially after the the Academy snubbed director Kathryb Bigelow in its nominations for Best Director. A small portion (10%) hoped the film and its actress would win the award, while others (65%) expected it to win on political grounds as a film that had positively portrayed American policy. The remaining comments listed winners and nominees and discussed other films nominated for the 2013 Oscars.

2013 ZDT Negative sentiment2013 Oscars Positive SentimentZero Dark Thirty – Bin Laden: Hero or terrorist? (2%)

Arab users also debated whether Osama bin Laden should be acknowledged as a hero who fought American occupation, and thus died a martyr, or as a terrorist responsible for indiscriminate killing rather than for fighting real battles or attempting to liberate Palestine from Israeli occupation. Some in the former group described Bin Laden as “Sheikh al-Mujahedeen”(the Lead of the Fighters), while others cursed him, calling him a “terrorist” and an “American weapon” in Afghanistan.

Bin Laden Terrorist

Bin Laden fighter

In our monitoring of Arab social media user reactions to Zero Dark Thirty, Twitter attracted the largest share of volume of user comments, accounting for 36% of the total. Forums and reader comments on news websites closely followed. Please note that the total volume of user comments (600) includes comments by non-Arab readers on English-speaking Arab websites such as Al Jazeera. The chart below shows the share of voice on SM platforms on Zero Dark Thirty.

Share of SM platforms

The Weekly Top 5 — February 24-28

March 3, 2013

As of January, we added a new feature to the Buzz Report: the Weekly Top 5. The Weekly Top 5 report highlights the top five subjects from five different discussion categories that generated the largest volume of discussion across Arabic language social media platforms on a weekly basis. The report is derived from crawling the web and indexing hundreds of thousands of Arabic-language, user-generated results on a daily basis. A more thorough explanation of our methodology follows the report. The Weekly Top 5 represents data collected throughout the Sunday-Thursday work week in the Arab world.

politics

Egyptian politics once again stole the number one spot in this week’s Top 5 with 27,366 comments, as social media platforms buzzed with talk of the five-hour delay in airing President Mohamed Morsi’s interview with host Amro Al-Laithy, which finally aired at around 2 a.m. A slew of theories and ridicule emerged, speculating about Morsi’s whereabouts and the reasons for the delay. Among these theories was that the interview was pending approval by Muslim Brotherhood leaders Mohamed Badie and Khayrat Al-Shater or that the video was being carefully edited so the president would not make a fool of himself once again. The popular We are all Khaled Said Facebook page posted: “People want to listen to the interview without any editing.”

On a lighter note, some users joked that the Egyptian president got lost on his way to the station or that they wanted to air the interview at a time that was more suitable for Americans, since it was primarily addressed to them. Political satirist Dr. Bassem Youssef joked in a tweet: “They say that the presidency is profiting from the commercials.”

The Muslim Brotherhood said the delay was due to a malfunction with the Nile Sat, while some users claimed Al-Mehwar channel, owned by figures associated with the former regime, sabotaged the broadcast. Users Aya Tooty wrote: “The speech is great but the timing is not; the channel should take into consideration the time, especially since it’s recorded.”

Still, others were angry about the delay, accusing Morsi of disrespecting his people and wondering how the talking points were released to Al-Jazeera channel and other Brotherhood websites before the interview even took place.  Sentiment towards President Mohamed Morsi was on the whole negative, and most users continued to be just as disappointed with the content as they were with the delay.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia captured the top spot in the sports category as Saudi team Al-Hilal won the Crown Prince Cup for the 5th time in a row. Saudi social media platforms buzzed with 23,597 comments as the 11-time winners beat Al-Nasr during penalty kicks at King Fahd international stadium in Riyadh.

While many users congratulated Al-Hilal on a well-deserved win, some said the team won because they took advantage of the mistakes committed by the Al-Nasr coach. User So Obvious commented: “It was the coach’s mistake to make Al-Zilai’ play.”

Others said Al-Nasr played well and considered it an accomplishment for the team to make it to the finals for the first time in 18 years. User Union Self said: “I believe it is satisfactory for Al-Nasr fans to see their team playing in the finals after 18 years.”

However, some suggested Al-Nasr’s loss was due a lack of harmony among its players, commenting that the team was lucky to be able to withstand the game until the penalty kicks. Ahmed ali wrote: “It is mere luck that made Al-Nasr reach the penalty kicks.”

In the Art category, Arab social media users in general and Lebanese users in particular, were tuned into the finale of the Arabic version of Dancing with the Stars, which garnered 9,253 comments. Users paid particular attention to Lebanese singer and guest star Nancy Ajram, praising her performance of what they described as a “vivid song.” Some even went as far as to describe Ajram as the perfect woman of their dreams.

User Rita Abu Zuluf commented: “She is on the top of the arena now. She is such a sweetheart, she is successful in her career and at her home too. She is the Queen Nancy Ajram.” Likewise, Zewaia Noor said: “Nancy looks SO beautiful! Beyond imagination.” Some, however, said she was no longer as graceful and glowing as she used to be.

While a number of users extended their thanks to the Lebanese MTV channel for hosting Ajram, others attacked the media for spending hefty sums on trivial shows like Dancing with the Stars.

In the meantime, Amr Kahled continued to offer religious and spiritual advice to his fans, which garnered 5,554 comments.  Khaled called on users to hold on to the Quran and live a happy life according to its teachings. While some users agreed with this, others asked him to focus on reality. User Qais Ibrahim, for example, wrote: “For sure, living with Quran makes your life happier, but Dr. Amr, you forgot about the events in Egypt and the Arab world; people don’t need advice, they need directions.”

On his daily radio show A Smile of Hope, Khaled also shared the story of two women, one American and one Arab, whose success was achieved with the help of their partners, to which users responded positively. Many users also expressed their admiration for a series of photos posted on the popular preacher’s page of various places around the Arab world. Arwa Ahmed said: “Thank you, Dr.Amr Khaled, this photo is from my country; may God bless it and save it.”

Finally, a prominent Saudi cleric stole the number one spot in the media category with his attacks on Al-Arabiya news channel. SocialEyez captured 5,200 comments discussing the preacher’s remarks on Twitter, in which he described the network as “a menace to Islam and to Muslims.”  He wrote: “I don’t know any other channel that menaces Islam and Muslims like Al Arabiya. If it is Saudi, then this is a scandal! If it is non-Saudi, why do we call it ours?”

The majority of Al-Arifi’s followers concurred with this view of the news channel, describing it as “wicked” and “anti-Islamic,” while some said it adopts US views and policies. Many Saudi users said the channel shouldn’t be described as Saudi because although it is owned by a Saudi businessman, it airs from Dubai, not from Saudi Arabia. User Tayel al-Fayez commented: “Al Arabiya transmits from Dubai, under the nose of Dubai Police Chief Dhahi Khalfan… no wonder!”

Egyptian users soon joined the discussion, some of whom compared Al-Arabiya to all Egyptian media outlets that “mislead” the nation. Egyptian users opposed to the Muslim Brotherhood accused Al-Arifi of attacking the channel because it is critical of the group, whereas the pro-Brotherhood Al-Jazeera received none of this scathing criticism. Tamer Azab said: “Yeah! But Al Jazeera says what you want!”  The discussion soon veered into an attack on Al-Jazeera for its ardent support of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Methodology

These results above are extracted from thousands of social media sources such as blogs, microblogs, forums, message boards, readers’ comment sections on news websites, etc, which are continually updated. A team of Arabic social media researchers and Arabic social media analysts use Arabic Natural Language Processing and data mining tools to analyze the data and to extract the list of top five subjects, based primarily on keyword repetition.

The Weekly Top 5 displays results of the common Sunday-Thursday work week in the Arab world, and is solely focused on Arabic language user-generated results, classified by volume of comments/discussion.

Data is captured primarily from 17 Arab countries in North Africa, the Levant, and the Arab Gulf region, and when relevant, the five other Arabic speaking countries belonging to the Arab League (Sudan, Somalia, Comoros, Djibouti and Mauritania).