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Saudi Trolling Campaign Against Jamal Khashoggi

Analyzing Arabic with WordStat

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WordStat text mining software can help you unriddle increasingly than 60 languages including; Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Russia, Turkish and Arabic. Even though the information is misogynist on our website, we are often asked by prospective customers well-nigh WordStat’s languages capabilities vastitude the obvious ones like English and the main European languages. To demonstrate WordStat’s linguistic diversity we will be presenting a series of blogs highlighting researchers’ wringer of variegated languages. In this blog we showcase Arabic. It is a form of qualitative, mixed methods research where the story is the data.

The inclement killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul in 2018 caused widespread outrage. After his disappearance was reported, there were many differing news and social media reports commenting negatively on Khashoggi’s journalism and character. This included Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and many more. How could much of the information concerning this well-known journalist have been so at odds with the established narrative of his career and character? A large part of the wordplay is found on social media and the internet in what seems to have been a concerted and organized, state-sponsored campaign.
We have seen state-sponsored digital disinformation campaigns waged by various sundowner governments in the recent past. Actors include Russia, China, Turkey, and others. Mackinnon (2011) coined a term for the unstipulated unravelment of this activity, networked authoritarianism. Part of the study this blog is focused on Al-Rawi (2021) was to see how this concept unromantic to state-run disinformation campaigns versus individuals.
Dr. Ahmed Al-Rawi is an Assistant Professor of News, Social Media, and Public Liaison at the School of Liaison at Simon Fraser University, Canada. He is the Director of the Disinformation Project that empirically examines fake news discourses in Canada on social media and news media. His research expertise is related to social media, news, and global liaison with accent on the Middle East. In, Al-Rawi (2021) he explores a coordinated disinformation wayfarers waged versus Khashoggi and his finance by Saudi Arabia and its agents. Much of the internet and social media text data (twitter, Facebook) was in Arabic. The tragedian used many and varied ways to collect this data, and he analyzed the text component using QDA Miner and WordStat.

In order to examine the trolls’ textual dataset as a whole, I used QDA Miner—WordStat 8 to identify the most frequent words and their undertone with other terms. I moreover conducted topic modeling wringer with the use of factor wringer serried based on their eigenvalues. I used this software considering it allows topic modeling wringer of non-English texts (Al-Rawi, Kane & Bizimana, 2021). p.144.

The tragedian used WordStat’s link wringer to see the relationship between the top 100 key words. (fig. 1) And he used topic modeling which largely confirmed the link wringer relationships between word groups.

most frequent words used by Arab trolls

Fig 1: Visualization of top 100 most frequent words used by Arab trolls

In wing to identifying the troll-generated content, the study moreover analyzes its relative effectiveness. The conclusions are very interesting with respect to networked authoritarianism and a very good example of how to tideway and unriddle this type of event of which we are likely to see increasingly and increasingly in the future.

References

Al-Rawi, A. (2021). Disinformation under a networked sundowner state: Saudi trolls’ points attacks versus Jamal Khashoggi. Open Information Science, 5(1), 140–162.

MacKinnon, R. (2011). China’s “Networked Authoritarianism” Journal of Democracy, 22(2), 32–46.