Buzz Report: Death of Osama bin Laden

May 8, 2011

Bin Laden again unites, then divides, US, Europe and Middle East

Ten years ago, when Osama bin Laden’s men flew airliners into New York’s World Trade Center, they sparked an outpouring of solidarity from Europe, captured by a French newspaper under the headline “We are all Americans now.”

It didn’t last. And now bin Laden’s death, unarmed, at the hands of American troops has brought a new wave of contrasting emotional responses across the world.

SocialEyez monitored the conversations around the world with focus on the Middle East and North Africa region and analysed the trends.

Trends in the Middle East:  Arabs sympathise with Obama

In Middle East there is a widespread feeling of sympathy with Bin Laden’s death and condemnation to burying/throwing him at sea. However, this trend is not necessarily supporting his views or doctrine of violence.

  •  The majority of online users (about 65 %) sympathized with his death portraying him as “a brave man who dared to say No to America and expose its double standards in dealing with the Palestinians, at a time when no Arab leader dared to.”
  • Around 30 % of users directly blamed his adoption of violence as a solution. About 15% severely criticized him and his use of violence.
  • About 35% of users said they suspected the death of Bin Laden, at least not believing the US narratives regarding throwing him into the sea. They said the circulated picture of BL’s face after death, which is attributed to a Pakistani TV satellite station, is fabricated, showing the original one out of which the fabricated picture was made.

Sample comments:

 “Although I disagree with him [Bin Laden] about how the Muslim World’s crisis should be managed, I consider him a champion who sacrificed for the interest of the Muslim World. May Allah accept him among martyrs”

 “If one hero died, hundreds of other heroes would be born.” 

Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood Criticized

Muslim Brotherhood prominent leader Essam Al-Erian was criticized by online users because he commented on the death of Bin Laden saying “One of the causes of violence is now removed”.

At the same time he asked the US to end its existence in Iraq and Afghanistan saying that it is time to give the Arab nations the chance to build up their democracies and enjoy freedom, especially after the Arab world has recognized its way to democracy.

  • Nearly 45% of online users’ comments in several websites, especially on Al-Jazeera Channel website, criticized Al-Erian for not giving condolences to Bin Laden’s death accusing him of taking the US and the West’s side.
  • About 30% of comments said Al-Erian, and the MB in general, should have criticized the US which killed a symbol of Islam.
  • About 25% of online conversations supported Al-Erian for his stance saying that the Muslim Brotherhood has been always condemning violence and Bin Laden’s principles as not representing the moderate teachings of Islam.

Facebook deletes “We are all OBL” page

Two Facebook pages were created to mourn the killing of OBL. Inspired by the Egyptian most successful Facebook page “We are all Khalid Said”, which had a major role in the Egyptian revolution, the two pages were named: “We are all Martyr OBL” and “We are all OBL”

After reaching more than 10,000 members in few hours Facebook deleted “We are all OBL” page. The majority of comments on the two pages were focused on the heroism of OBL as he “faced” the US oppression of Muslims, especially those in Palestine.

The fans that commented on the pages could not believe in violence as a method of facing oppression, but they mainly sympathized with Obama as “the one who could break the silence, especially of the Arab rulers, towards the Israeli aggression against the Palestinians”.

SocialEyez Monitored the daily volume of conversation about OBL on social Media


Share of Voice: A majority of conversations took place on Microblogs


Sentiment Analysis: People mostly shared a negative sentiment on Osama bin Laden’s death

Click on the links below to read the Buzz Report in the following languages:

Buzz Report – Arabic

Buzz Report – Persian

Buzz Report – French

Report Compiled by the Content Team @Social_Eyez