Hezbollah’s Twitter Presence (Update)

  • On November 7, 2019, the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center published the findings of its examination of the suspension of Hezbollah-affiliated Twitter accounts (November 2, 2019). The findings indicated that Twitter accounts of Hezbollah activists and institutions also remained active after the suspension.

Among the active accounts were those of Jawad Nasrallah (son of Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah) and Ali Shoeib (the Hezbollah al-Manar TV and Radio Nour correspondent in south Lebanon). However, an ITIC examination conducted four days later (November 11, 2019) revealed that Jawad Nasrallah’s account had been suspended and no longer appeared on Twitter. Ali Shoeib’s account, on the other hand, remains active, although he related to the ITIC publication by tweeting, “Goodbye, we will meet at a new account,” (a hint at concern his account will be suspended and his intention to open a new one, should that happen). However, the accounts of the other Hezbollah institutions and activists referred to in the ITIC publication continue routine activity (as of the evening of November 111, 2019).

Suspension of Jawad Nasrallah’s account
  • Jawad Nasrallah, son of Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, had a Twitter account with 16,500 followers. He tweeted material corresponding with Hezbollah’s propaganda, including loyalty to Iran, glorification of shaheeds and support for fostering Hassan Nasrallah’s personality cult. Jawad Nasrallah is on the list of United States Department of Treasury’s designated terrorists.
  • On the morning of November 11, 2019, Jawad Nasrallah was still tweeting about Hezbollah’s “Shaheed Day” (which fell on the same day), but by evening his account had been suspended. He can be expected to find a way to overcome the suspension.[2]

Notice of the suspension of Jawad Nasrallah's account (lebanondebate website, November 12, 2019).

Notice of the suspension of Jawad Nasrallah’s account (lebanondebate website, November 12, 2019).

Ali Shoeib’s response to the publication of the ITIC’s findings
  • Ali Shoeib is a correspondent for al-Manar TV and al-Nour Radio in south Lebanon. He uses his Twitter account to report on events in south Lebanon and to tweet material corresponding with Hezbollah’s ideology and propaganda.
  • On November 11, 2019, Ali Shoeib tweeted that his Twitter account had been mentioned in an ITIC bulletin about Twitter accounts affiliated with Hezbollah. He tweeted, “The Hebrew [i.e., Israeli] Meir Amit Center for the study of the ‘terrorist movements’ incites Twitter to close the accounts of Hezbollah supporters! Goodbye, we will meet at a new account.” He added a screenshot of a page from the English version of the ITIC’s September 1, 2019, bulletin, “Hezbollah’s Media Empire,” which also related to Ali Shoeib’s activity.

Screenshot of Ali Shoeib's tweet referring to the ITIC report. He wrote, "Goodbye, we will meet at a new account" (November 11, 2019).

Screenshot of Ali Shoeib’s tweet referring to the ITIC report. He wrote, “Goodbye, we will meet at a new account” (November 11, 2019).

Ali Shoeib opened his current Twitter account in 2018 after a number of his previous accounts had been suspended. According to the tweet, he may be planning to do the same thing again and open a new account if Twitter suspends his current account. He also has a Facebook page where he posts Hezbollah material similar to what can be found on his Twitter account. He has 12,492 Facebook followers, and he can continue using the page even if he does not successfully open a new Twitter account.

 Screenshot of the Ali Shoeib's Facebook profile page (evening of November 11, 2019).
Screenshot of the Ali Shoeib’s Facebook profile page (evening of November 11, 2019).
  • In the meantime Ali Shoeib continues tweeting. On November 11, 2019, he tweeted that Israel would regret the killing of [senior PIJ commander] Bahaa Abu al-Atta.

 Ali Shoeib's November 11 tweet: "They said: 'After the funeral of the shaheeds, "Israel" will regret!' #gaza #Bahaa_Abu_alAtta"
Ali Shoeib’s November 11 tweet: “They said: ‘After the funeral of the shaheeds, “Israel” will regret!’ #gaza #Bahaa_Abu_alAtta”

[1] This report updates the November 7, 2019 bulletin, "Twitter suspended accounts affiliated with Hezbollah, especially al-Manar. However, an Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center examination revealed that Hezbollah continues to maintain a significant presence on Twitter, even after the suspension."
[2] Among possible solutions are opening a new Twitter account or reviving an inactive Facebook page. For example, he has an inactive Facebook page profile under his own name on Facebook page (last activity recorded on June 21, 2013), whose address is https://www.facebook.com/jawad.nasrallah.50. Jawad Nasrallah may use the page to continue spreading Hezbollah content instead of his suspended Twitter account.