Friday, 25 March 2011

Twitter analysis projects protesting in Bahrain today

Very high surge in tweeting around Barbar, Saar and Mugaba. In the past these areas have seen a rise in protests before larger demonstrations have moved towards used to be Pearl Roundabout. Now that the government has destroyed Pearl Round about it is hard to say where the protests might try to converge.

Based upon our review of the content of hashtags in twitter related to Bahrain protests, message we have received in Bahrain, and a pattern of tweeting in the north west of the Island we are anticipating a very heavy protest is developing in Bahrain. We are also anticipating that the regime will try to crack down very hard, and we see reports they have already started. Today is likely to be a very violent and chaotic day across much of Northern Bahrain.

It is also worth nothing that by destroying Pearl Roundabout the government may have effectively removed one of the key factors that kept earlier protests peaceful. The regular ritual of moving towards Pearl gave an order and organization to earlier protests. As yet we don't see a single location of protest peaks, with surges happening in various locations and reports of violence all over the island.

This was clearly a strategy of the government to break the protests up, but since many still have access to communication platforms like SMS, blogs, facebook and Twitter the protests will likely be able to restructure themselves. The governments strategy my also backfire and see protests spread around the entire Island where they will be harder to police and more effective in bringing the entire country to an effective stop.

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