An account spreading pro-Saudi messages actually belonged to a deceased Weather Channel meteorologist.” – Aljazeera

Access to verified Twitter accounts can be sold for $1,200 or more on forums frequented by hackers [Regis Duvignau/Reuters]


Multiple verified Twitter accounts have been taken over by some pro-Saudi operatives. They are being used to promote Saudi Arabia and its leadership, according to an academic that researches multiple digital propaganda silos and Twitter bots.

At least four of these accounts are verified Twitter accounts, meaning that these people usually hold some sort of weight or social impact and are verified to be who they are. One even belonged to a meteorologist who died over 2 years ago. It appears these accounts have been hacked and sold to pro-Saudi groups.

“That account [meteorologist], @TWCDaveSchwartz, has now been followed by dozens of pro-Saudi and Saudi-based accounts.”

“The account itself appears to have posted a single tweet, which praises the al-Qassim region of Saudi Arabia, and its governor, Prince Faisal bin Mishal. But a screenshot of the same account taken in 2018 shows it was used to promote tourism in Saudi Arabia at the time.” – Aljazeera.