- A major increase in volumes on the #Bahrain hashtag in Twitter.
- A sudden emergence of pro-government accounts, many making claims of violence coming from the protesters at Pearl Roundabout.
- A large cluster of tweeps forming in open areas west of Pearl Roundabout. We have seen a major surge in tweeting around Sanabis, Bahrain Track in real time.
Last time we saw this configuration it lead to violence. We have not seen this configuration since the protests have been peaceful. Therefore we are anticipating a likely move by the regime to try and clear Pearl Roundabout in the next few days, and the protests putting themselves at risk to try and counter.
UPDATE: As anticipated a major surge in tweets coming from protesters seems to be moving from the main hospital to Pearl Roundabout.
UPDATE: A pro-government protests in Bahrain took place today. State TV has released some fuzzy images and no pans of the crowd, along with a confident assert that 450,000 people had shown up. That would make about 40% of the total population of the entire nation.
We monitored tweeting from the pro-government and anti-governments sites all day and for the government claims about the relative size of the two groups to be true, the anti-government protesters would have to be about 1,000 times more like to tweet. We assumed the government claims are a lie. Not just a lie, but a fairly unbelievable lie. With a population of 1.2 million people the claim of 450,000 plus people sounds to us like Egypt's NDP claiming 90% of the vote. This is such an obvious lie the very telling of it is a disturbing sign. In the Arab world normally massive claims of support are more threats than democratic.
We are also seeing more and more tweets suddenly emerging calling for violence against the protesters like this one:
We continue to be deeply apprehensive about the probability of a new crack down or other form of violence directed at demonstrators in Pearl Rounabout.