Saudis Hunting ‘Sorcerers’ on Twitter

The religious police in Saudi Arabia, formally known as the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, has launched a task force to monitor Twitter accounts in order to identify and track “sorcerers” and “witches.” Which don’t actually exist, of course.

Saudi Arabia, which has the largest number of Twitter users relative to internet users in the world, has formed a special task force to track users of the popular social media who are accused of spreading vice and witchcraft.

The Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, which serves as the religious police of the conservative Gulf kingdom, is conducting surveillance of Twitter accounts in an effort to reign in heightened interest in subjects related to sorcery.

The religious public watchdog is keeping a lookout for those accounts which “are spreading vice and witchcraft” through the community, said Ahmed Al Jardan, the Commission’s spokesman, as quoted by the Saudi news network Al Arabiya.

“We will track down all those who are behind these accounts whether they are men or women…we are determined to eliminate these accounts before they become widespread and out of control,” he said.

Oh yes, can’t let them get out of control. Whatever that means. (Hat tip: Sharon Hill)

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  • sh3baproject

    lets hope they dont find hogwarts.

  • alanb

    But I only use my powers for GOOD. And I only use them while facing towards Mecca. That should count for something, right?

  • busterggi

    Witches & sorcerers use Twitter? Wassa matter, crystal balls not good enough any more?

  • grumpyoldfart

    The sad thing is that eventually they will find what they are looking for. The boss of the show is never going to admit that he found nothing – so some poor souls are going to cop it.

  • criticaldragon1177

    Ed Brayton

    Hopefully most of the people they suspect of witchcraft won’t actually live in Saudi Arabia, that way they won’t be able to do anything about them.

  • criticaldragon1177

    #1 Sh3baproject

    Not to worry, they wouldn’t stand a chance against Harry Potter. 😉

  • cry4turtles

    My gut tells me the majority of victims of the religious police will be female.

  • zarwolf


  • d.c.wilson


    That depends on whether the Detect Evil spell works over the intertubes.

  • Gretchen

    Twitter itself is much like a crystal ball. Using it you can “tune in” to the thoughts of people all over the world, famous and obscure, brilliant and inane, kind and hateful, religious and….skeptical.

    That is what they ought to be worrying about.

    I’m not going to say I’m glad they’re not, though, because they probably think skeptics and sorcerers are much the same thing. Anybody who doesn’t believe in your good magic must be practicing bad magic, right?

  • anachronistes

    @d.c.wilson: that’s Detect Magic. Detect Evil is too big a net.


  • theschwa

    My Twitter account was damaged when I tried to tweet a magic missile spell.

  • eric

    Okay, we all know this is really going to be used for political and religious oppression. Yet I still wonder exactly what sort of indicators of “witchcraft” would look like. #lighterthanaduck? #iamawitch? #eyeofnewt? #abracadabra?

  • jba55

    @3 : Please, crystal balls are so last century. What else do you expect, flying on broomsticks? It’s a private jet or someone is moving to toad-town.

  • gworroll

    I’m tempted to create a fake account, make it all about spreading witchcraft in Saudi Arabia, and leave clues that point to the Crown Prince.

    I’m nowhere near dedicated enough to do it, but I’d find it funny. Unless the authorities actually buy it and execute the Prince- it would become quite a bit less funny at that point.

  • caseloweraz

    Busterggi: Witches & sorcerers use Twitter? Wassa matter, crystal balls not good enough any more?

    What’s a wizard to do with the silmarils impounded? (I think they’re in that government warehouse right next to the Ark of the Covenant.)