Bahrain announces steps against ‘malicious social media accounts’

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Bahrain’s interior ministry has announced they are taking “tough steps” in dealing with what they called “disruptive social media accounts”.

Bahrain’s Interior Minister Lt. Gen. Shaikh Rashid bin Abdullah Al Khalifa made the announcement on Sunday targeting accounts that spread “malicious rumors that go against social harmony and civil peace”, adding that “security authorities would tackle any offence against national and traditional values”.

According to the Bahrain News Agency (BNA), the minister said that some disruptive social media accounts claimed they were run by the Royal Court while it had been proved they were operated through malicious websites and had no links with the Royal Court or any other official organization in Bahrain.

He said the Royal Court was an official authority that functioned to implement the directives of His Majesty the King in regard of supervising all constitutional organizations in the Kingdom to ensure they followed constitutional provisions in the best interests of the nation and its citizens. Thus, it is above any cyber activity against the norms and traditions of Bahrain whereas those accounts are destructive and not constructive.

He said that those accounts were monitored since they relied on inaccurate information about individuals and organizations and were against the interests of the internal front.

He said the operators of some of those accounts were identified and others would continue to be pursued. “We won’t be far from tracking them down and taking legal action against them even if we need to draft new legislation to tackle the latest developments in such crimes with their negative effects on members of society and the national fabric.”

The Interior Minister said there would be a follow-up and steps would be taken to make them accountable in accordance with the law to stop their violations and misuse of the social media.

He said it was unfortunate that the social media had been turned into a place to spread sedition and rumors rather than to strengthen community bonds.